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  • The Arden Shakespeare Dictionary Series
  • Deborah T. Curren-Aquino (bio)
Shakespeare’s Non-Standard English: A Dictionary of His Informal Language. Arden Shakespeare Dictionary Series. By Norman Blake. London and New York: Continuum, 2006. Pp. x + 398. $80.00 paper. (Originally published by Thoemmes Continuum, 2004.)
Shakespeare’s Military Language: A Dictionary. Arden Shakespeare Dictionary Series. By Charles Edelman. London and New York: Continuum, 2004. Pp. xviii + 424. $75.00 paper. (Originally published by Athlone Press, 2000.)
Women in Shakespeare: A Dictionary. Arden Shakespeare Dictionary Series. By Alison Findlay. London and New York: Bloomsbury Arden, 2014. Pp. xvi + 546. $44.95 paper. (Originally published by Continuum, 2010.)
Shakespeare and the Language of Food: A Dictionary. Arden Shakespeare Dictionary Series. By Joan Fitzpatrick. London and New York: Continuum, 2011. Pp. xviii + 462. $275.00 cloth.
Shakespeare’s Demonology: A Dictionary. Arden Shakespeare Dictionary Series. By Marion Gibson and Jo Ann Esra. London and New York: Bloomsbury Arden, 2014. Pp. x + 238. $172.00 cloth.
Class and Society in Shakespeare: A Dictionary. Arden Shakespeare Dictionary Series. By Paul Innes. London and New York: Continuum, 2007. Pp. xii + 596. $350.00 cloth.
Shakespeare’s Medical Language: A Dictionary. Arden Shakespeare Dictionary Series. By Sujata Iyengar. London and New York: Bloomsbury Arden, 2014. Pp. xvi + 416. $275.00 cloth, $44.95 paper. (Originally published by Continuum, 2011.)
Shakespeare’s Legal Language: A Dictionary. Arden Shakespeare Dictionary Series. By B. J. Sokol and Mary Sokol. London and New York: Continuum, 2004. Pp. xii + 498. $90.00 paper. (Originally published by Athlone Press, 2000.) [End Page 197]
Shakespeare’s Political and Economic Language: A Dictionary. Arden Shakespeare Dictionary Series. By Vivian Thomas. London and New York: Bloomsbury Arden, 2015. Pp. xxxviii + 376. $250.00 cloth, $44.95 paper. (Originally published by Continuum, 2008.)
Shakespeare’s Plants and Gardens: A Dictionary. Arden Shakespeare Dictionary Series. By Vivian Thomas and Nicki Faircloth. London and New York: Bloomsbury Arden, 2014. Pp. xviii + 414. $172.00 cloth.
Music in Shakespeare: A Dictionary. Arden Shakespeare Dictionary Series. By Christopher R. Wilson and Michela Calore. London and New York: Bloomsbury Arden, 2014. Pp. xiv + 508. $44.95 paper. (Originally published by Thoemmes Continuum, 2005.)
polonius

. . . What do you read, my lord?

hamlet

Words, words, words.

polonius

What is the matter, my lord?

hamlet

Between who?

polonius

I mean, the matter that you read, my lord.

Hamlet, 2.2.191–951

What exactly are the “words” and the “matter” we read, edit, perform, teach, and listen to when dealing with a Shakespeare play or poem? The authors of the Arden Dictionaries attempt to answer this question by examining the many languages that make up Shakespeare’s verbal universe: the languages of medicine, music, military life, law, demonology, plants and gardens, food, class and society, women, politics and economics, and nonstandard English.2 Each of the eleven volumes reviewed here, with the exception of Blake’s Shakespeare’s Non-Standard English, begins with the general prefatory aim [End Page 198]

to provide the student of Shakespeare with a series of authoritative guides to the principal subject-areas covered by the plays and poems. They are produced by scholars who are experts both on Shakespeare and on the topic of the individual dictionary, based on the most recent scholarship, succinctly written and accessibly presented. They offer readers a self-contained body of information on the topic under discussion, its occurrence and significance in Shakespeare’s works, and its contemporary meanings.

(Sandra Clark, series editor)

Words, phrases, concepts, topics, place-names, and historical and dramatic figures are listed in alphabetical order and given their respective specialized information with appropriate facts concerning the term’s etymology and, with respect to certain foods and plants, facts on an item’s introduction into England through trade. Many entries go beyond “succinctly written” accounts (generally a half-page to a page and a half) to constitute mini-essays extending from two to seventeen pages, rendering the volumes more encyclopedic than simply lexical in scope and treatment. While demonstrating authority...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-3555
Print ISSN
0037-3222
Pages
pp. 197-208
Launched on MUSE
2015-09-02
Open Access
No
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