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Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
August 2019
Print publication year:
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Book description

The Cambridge Guide to the Worlds of Shakespeare aims to replicate the expansive reach of Shakespeare's global reputation. In pursuit of that vision, this work is transhistorical, international and interdisciplinary. Volume 1, Shakespeare's World, 1500–1660, includes a comprehensive survey of the world in which Shakespeare and his contemporaries lived, while Volume 2, The World's Shakespeare, 1660–Present, examines what the world has made of Shakespeare as a cultural icon over the past four centuries. For each of the work's twenty-eight broad subject areas, ranging from translation to popular culture to performing arts, an overview is followed by a series of shorter essays taking up particular aspects of the subject at hand. Richly illustrated with more than three hundred images between the two volumes, this work brings the world, life and afterlife of Shakespeare to readers, from non-academic Shakespeare fans and students to theater professionals and Shakespeare scholars.


Winner, 2017 PROSE Award for Excellence in Reference Works

Winner, 2017 PROSE Award for Multivolume Reference/Humanities and Social Sciences

Winner, 2016 Choice Outstanding Academic Title


‘A gigantic achievement! This vast journey through Shakespeare’s works and worlds is constantly fascinating.’

Sir Antony Sher - Honorary Associate Artist, Royal Shakespeare Company

‘The Cambridge Guide to the Worlds of Shakespeare is going to be an invaluable resource for anyone taking the measure of Shakespeare’s reach - across times, languages, and cultures. Only an encyclopedia, this encyclopedia, is up to the task.’

Michael Witmore - Folger Shakespeare Library

‘The editors of The Cambridge Guide to the Worlds of Shakespeare have assembled a treasure-house of informed, concise, and helpful entries. This comprehensive collection provides useful introductory essays on almost any topic in Shakespeare studies.’

Tom Bishop - University of Auckland

‘The worlds of Shakespeare have become more polyglot and diverse than ever before. In gathering an excellent group of scholars and tracing a horizon of yet unknown dimensions, this work is an indispensable guide for all expeditions into this universe.’

Peter W. Marx - University of Cologne

‘It would be hard to imagine a more thoughtful, imaginative, or comprehensive collection than this. As Dryden said of Chaucer: here is God’s plenty! The essays are crisp and lucid, and they address their topics with an intellectual energy that transmits to the reader. These volumes are unlike anything currently on the market and will not find an equal for many years to come.’

Laurie Maguire - University of Oxford

'Academic libraries catering for courses in English literature will obviously want to have this. I would also recommend volume one as a useful source of all sorts of miscellaneous information for historians interested in specialised aspects of late Tudor and early Jacobean England - from paper-making to cosmetics to garden design and volume two to readers interested in aspects of cultural changes over the past four centuries. Most university libraries will certainly find readers for it.'

Martin Guha Source: Reference Reviews

‘… The Cambridge Guide to the Worlds of Shakespeare gives its readers an abundance of both pleasure and profitable insight.’

Jean E. Howard Source: Renaissance Quarterly

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