John Dover Wilson's New Shakespeare, published between 1921 and 1966, became the classic Cambridge edition of Shakespeare's plays and poems until the 1980s. The series, long since out of print, is now reissued. Each work is available both individually and together as a set and each contains a lengthy and lively introduction, text, with substantial notes, and a glossary printed at the back. The edition, which began with The Tempest and ended with The Sonnets, put into practice the techniques and theories that had evolved under the 'New Bibliography'. Remarkably by today's standards, although it took the best part of half a century to produce, the New Shakespeare involved only a small band of editors besides Dover Wilson himself: Arthur Quiller-Couch (originally co-editor), G. I. Duthie, J. C. Maxwell and Alice Walker. As the volumes took shape, many of Dover Wilson's textual methods acquired general acceptance and became an established part of later editorial practice, for example in the Arden and New Cambridge Shakespeares. Besides its textual innovation, the edition was famous also for the scholarly enthusiasm of its editor, for the speculative energy and critical imagination on display, perhaps most famously in the ingenious and lengthy stage directions which pepper the play editions. The reissued volumes reproduce the original, characteristic typeface inside the familiar red paperback covers, fronted by the Picasso drawing.
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