Review by Choice Review
Andrews's extensively researched, handsomely bound, and attractively illustrated set follows the well-received William Shakespeare: His World, His Work, His Influence (1985), which featured 60 articles by well-known interpreters. The present work is distinguished from the former by its alphabetical arrangement of topics, time lines that place signature dates and developments in historical context, attractive sidebars and illustrations, marginal notes and glossaries for major subjects, and cross-references. Its articles by distinguished critics and interpreters provide introductions to personalities, settings, literary terms, and events that serve as backdrop to the bard's works but do not attempt solutions to the "problems" of those works. The present encyclopedia differs from previous attempts (e.g., Charles Boyce's Shakespeare A to Z, CH, Apr'91; Peter Quennell's Who's Who in Shakespeare, 1995; The Shakespeare Dictionary, ed. by Sandra Clark, 1994; and chiefly Louise McConnell's Dictionary of Shakespeare, CH, Mar'01). Added features include a brief preface/introduction, comprehensive indexes to each volume, Shakespearean chronology, chronology of the dramatist's works (for each volume), and a roster of contributors (in volume 1). Very expensive; recommended for academic and public libraries. P. Kujoory formerly, Southern Methodist University
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review
Although similar in content to Scribner's scholarly three-volume William Shakespeare: His World, His Work, and His Influence (1985), this new set, with its larger font and margins sprinkled with information and illustrations, is geared to the junior-and senior-high-school student. In an encyclopedia format, these three volumes introduce--from Acting companies, Elizabethan to Winter's Tale, The; Witches and spirits; and Work--the life, history and times, plays, characters, places, and names connected with this quintessential master of words and human nature, whose work continues to enthrall us today. With a cumulative table of contents in volume 1 and cumulative indexes in all three volumes, locating information is easy. There are a time line of pertinent historical events from 1532 to 1999 and a chronology of Shakespeare's works in each volume. A myriad of topics (more than 250 entries) offers a glimpse of the customs, beliefs, politics, and historical personage that had an impact on his writing. Analytical synopses of plays and sonnets give plot summaries, sources and history, commentaries on how audiences and critics received these plays, and stage and performance histories. Characters portrayed in plays are described in detail, with motives for their actions or reactions analyzed. Places and names appearing in the works are identified. Biographical entries for playwrights or directors associated with Shakespeare, his contemporaries, and his friends and family offer insight into his personal relationships. Highlighted glossary terms are defined in margins on the same pages in which they appear. Sidebars, also printed in the margins, supply supplemental relevant and interesting facts. Cross-references indicate related entries in the set. Each volume contains eight pages of superb colorplates. Additional illustrations showcase historical moments from film, stage, or television productions. All and all, the contents add up to a fascinating, easy-flowing read. This is an exemplary resource for students and teachers of Shakespeare. College students studying theater arts may gain valuable direction for stage production in such areas as set design, character representation, and cultural practices. A wise investment for school and public libraries.
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by School Library Journal Review
Gr 7-Up This set is attractively formatted with a nice mixture of text, black-and-white and color illustrations, sidebars, definitions, and time lines on Shakespearean-related information. Alphabetically arranged entries range from a half page to five or six pages in length; they are simply written yet filled with important detail. Aspects of the Bard's life and times ranging from acting companies and agriculture to weddings and women are examined. Articles on the controversial authorship theories are included as is information on occupations, cities and towns, music, literature, society, trade, warfare, science, medicine, and Shakespeare on the screen. Most valuable are the discussions of the plays and sonnets, their themes, characters, and settings, as well as the more abstract concepts of love, madness, nature, and loyalty. A comprehensive index is found in each book. Suggested Resources in the final volume includes dictionaries, plays, movies, adaptations, biographies, periodicals, and online resources. A user-friendly, valuable resource. Pat Bender, The Shipley School, Bryn Mawr, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted., Cahners Business Information
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.