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The Facts on File Companion to Shakespeare

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A Library Journal “Best Reference 2012” Selection

The Facts On File Companion to Shakespeare is the largest and most comprehensive student’s guide to Shakespeare ever published. The primary goal of this new five-volume set is to make Shakespeare’s poems and plays accessible and appealing to high school and college students. Written and edited by active Shakespearean scholars and critics who have a love of teaching and explaining Shakespeare, this landmark collection presents Shakespeare’s poems and plays in a whole new light for anyone interested in fully comprehending this great writer’s works.

“This Companion by Baker and Womack presents a comprehensive introduction to Shakespeare and his works. Spanning five volumes and some 2,100 pages, it features signed entries on every work published and/or attributed to Shakespeare, including each sonnet. Part 1 offers contextual essays on topics including historical and political background, the perennial authorship question, and theoretical approaches and interpretations within Shakespeare studies. Part 2 is devoted to poems, and part 3 (which spans four volumes) covers the plays. ‘Difficult passages’ from individual plays are highlighted and explained. Each entry also includes a bibliography of suggested readings to supplement the lengthy general bibliography of secondary sources on Shakespeare. In short, this new volume would be an excellent guide to Shakespeare for undergraduates; graduate students and researchers also may find it useful.”—Jen Stevens, Choice

“Many readers have difficulty understanding and enjoying Shakespeare’s work. The primary objective of this wonderfully organized and accessible new resource is to counter those difficulties. Active Shakespearean scholars and teachers provide extensive coverage of every play, 76 sonnets, and all of his longer poems, beginning with ‘Venus and Adonis.’ Part 1 places the Bard’s life in context through the latest research. Part 2 covers his poems and Part 3 his plays. Discussions of modern criticism and the plays today will interest students.”—Brian E. Coutts and Cheryl LaGuardia, Library Journal

“This set may be one of the most comprehensive and thorough guides to Shakespeare written yet, making the plays and poetry of the Bard accessible and enjoyable for high school and college students.”—Laurie Balderson, Hamilton-Holmes Middle School

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