New Cambridge Shakespeare

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The cover of a New Cambridge Shakespeare edition

The New Cambridge Shakespeare is a series of critical editions of the plays of William Shakespeare published by Cambridge University Press. The series began in 1984, and several editions were published each year, so that today, all of Shakespeare's plays and poems are available in the series. The series was designed to replace the New Shakespeare series, published by Cambridge in the early twentieth century.

The New Cambridge editions feature lengthy introductions and copious annotation. They are distinctive in appearance, being taller in shape than most of their competitors. The earliest editions featured cyan covers with an illustration by C. Walter Hodges of the relevant play in performance on an Elizabethan stage. In the 1990s, these covers were replaced with a new uniform blue design featuring a multicoloured sketch of Shakespeare's face based on a drawing by David Hockney. In the 2000s, the series was reissued again with each play receiving a new multi-coloured design specific to it.

The earliest editions in the series feature drawings by C. Walter Hodges that reconstruct the appearance of the plays when first produced in the Elizabethan theatre; this practice continued until Hodges' death in 2004.

Notable editions published in the series include the first ever edition of the disputed play Edward III to be published as Shakespeare's as part of a series; and a controversial edition of Pericles, Prince of Tyre that rejects the conventional thesis that the play was poorly printed and the result of collaborative authorship.

The series also uniquely produces fully edited modern-spelling editions of quarto texts when they differ significantly from the standard received text of the play. These include editions of the first quarto of Hamlet, the first quarto of Henry V, quarto King Lear, the Richard III, the quarto of Othello, the first quarto of Romeo and Juliet, and The Taming of a Shrew, an alternate version of The Taming of the Shrew.

The general editors of the series are Philip Brockbank (1984-1990) and Brian Gibbons (1990-present).

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