A midsummer night's dream, William Shakespeare :

Series: Bedford Shakespeare series Published by : Bedford/St. Martin's ; | Macmillan, (Boston : | Basingstoke :) Physical details: xxii, 346 p. : ill. ; 21 cm. ISBN:0312218222 (hardcover) :; 0312166214 (pbk). Year: 1999
Item type Current location Call number Copy number Status Date due
Books Books British Council Library
822.33 (Browse shelf) 1 Available

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

This edition of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream reprints the Bevington edition of the play accompanied by four sets of primary documents and illustrations thematically arranged to offer a richly textured understanding of early modern culture and Shakespeare's work within that culture. The texts, including facsimiles of period documents, conduct literature, county records, reports of court entertainments, and Queen Elizabeth's speeches, contextualize the play's treatment of popular and royal festivity, communities of women (including Amazons, gossips, and nuns), marriage expectations, and the supernatural.

Includes bibliography (p. 325-337) and index.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • About The Series
  • About This Volume
  • List of Illustrations
  • Introduction
  • Part I A Midsummer Night's Dream (Edited by David Bevington)
  • Part II Contextual Readings
  • 1 Popular Festivals and Court Celebrations
  • The Rites of May
  • From A Survey of London
  • From Diary of a Resident in London
  • From The Anatomy of Abuses
  • The Ballad
  • The Fetching Home of May
  • Court Entertainments
  • Kenilworth and Coventry
  • From A Letter Descibing the Entertainment of the Queen at Kenilworth
  • Coventry Records of the Hock Tuesday Play
  • The Fairy Queen
  • From Entertainment at Elvetham
  • From The Shepheardes Calendar
  • 2 The Making of Men
  • The Ranks of Men: William Harrison's Of Degrees of People
  • From The Description of England
  • The Formation of the Ruler: Plutarch's Life of Theseus
  • From The Lives of Nobles Grecians and Romans
  • The Formation of the Gentleman: Sir Thomas Elyot and Rodger Ascham
  • From The Book Named the Governor
  • From The Schoolmaster
  • Working Men
  • The Statute of Artificers
  • From The Statute of Artificers
  • Royal Proclaimation Regulating Chester Wages
  • The New Man: Simon Forman's Dreams
  • From The Autobiography of Simon Forman
  • 3 Female Attachments and Family Ties
  • Amazons
  • From The Book of the City of Ladies
  • From The History of the World
  • From The First Blast of the Trumpet against the Monstrous Regiments of Women
  • Address to the Troops at Tilbury
  • Gossips
  • From The Schoolhouse of Women
  • Nuns
  • A Letter, Certifying the Incontinency of the Nuns of Syon
  • From A Maid Hating Marriage
  • The Virgin Queen
  • From Speech to Parliment on Marriage and Succession
  • From The Annals of Queen Elizabeth
  • A Poet and Her Patron
  • From The Description of Cooke-ham
  • Family Ties
  • From A New Catechism
  • From The Christian Statue of Matrimony
  • From Of Domestical Duties
  • From A Crystal Glass for Christian Women
  • 4 Natural and Supernatural
  • Bad Weather and Dearth
  • From The Annals of England
  • Metamorphosis and Monstrosity
  • Ovid and Reginald Scot
  • From Metamorphoses, Book 14
  • Bestiality and Monstrosity
  • Prosecuting Buggery
  • From Calendar of Assize Records
  • Monsters and Prodigies
  • From Of Monsters and Prodigies
  • Fairy Belief
  • Collecting Fairy Lore
  • The Fairies' Farewell
  • The Mad Merry Pranks of Robin Good-fellow
  • ICorinthians 2:1--16
  • Bibliography
  • Index
  • Illustrations
  • 1 Title Page of the Quarto A Midsummer Night's Dream
  • 2 Woodcuts fo City and Woods from the Roxburghe Ballasd
  • 3 Morris Dancers from the WIndow of a Gentleman'a House
  • 4 Maypole DAnce from Michael Drayton;s Poly-Olbion
  • 5 Woodcut Illustrating the Ballas "The Crost Couple"
  • 6 Queen Elizabeth I on a Hunt
  • 7 The Entertainment at Elvetham
  • 8 The Queen and Her Court, from Edmund Spencer's The Shepheaardes Calandar
  • 9 Page from Plutarch's The Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans
  • 10 Title Page from A Catechism
  • 11 Title Page from George Tuberville's The Noble Art of Venery
  • 12 Manuscript Page from The Autobiography of SImon Forman
  • 13 Lascivious and Threatening Amazons from Sir Walter Raleigh's The Discovery of Guiana
  • 14 Amazons, Each with a Breast Removed, from John Bulwer's Anthropometamorphosis
  • 15 Queen Elizabeth I as an Amazon
  • 16 Frontispiece from Samuel Rowland's 'Tis Merry When Gossip Meet
  • 17 Woodcut from Christine de Pizan's The Book of the City of Ladies
  • 18 Circe Transforming Ulysses' Sailor into Animals
  • 19 Monster, Half-Man, Half-Pig, from Ambroise Pare's Of Monsters and Prodigies
  • 20 Title Page from Robin Good-fellow, His Mad Pranks

Reviews provided by Syndetics


A Midsummer Night's Dream deserves intelligent contexts and engaging introductions such as this. David Bevington's text was well chosen for the editors' purposes, though their emphasis on the play's dynamic dialogue with its own and other cultures could have been reinforced by Peter Holland's text, with its many references to stage history. Still, Paster and Howard achieve their aim of enabling students to interpret for themselves cultural conditions current at the time of the play's composition as well as the play itself. Contextual primary readings, many not readily available elsewhere, are organized into four chapters that look at popular festivals and court celebrations; the making of kinds of men--rulers, gentlemen, and artificers; female attachments and family ties; and attitudes toward the natural and the supernatural. The book's introduction will tantalize those who wish for other contexts--effects of the Reformation and expectations of romantic comedy, say. One subtext disturbs this reviewer: the editors seem to level all texts without explicit recognition of the superiority of literature--in durable currency if in no other virtue. A knowledge of many contextual documents does not result in a play that "no longer speaks on its own"; despite efforts to "decenter" it, the play remains the sine qua non. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. J. H. Sims University of Southern Mississippi

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