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WITH NOTES BY WM. J. ROLFE, A.M.
Much Ado About Nothing.
Romeo and Juliet.
The Merchant of Venice.
As You Like It.
Henry the Fifth.
Henry the Eighth.
Richard the Second.
The Winter's Tale.
Taming of the Shrew.
All's Well That Ends Well.
ILLUSTRATED. 16мo, Cloth, 60 CENTS PER VOLUME; Paper, 40 Cents PER VOLUME.
In the preparation of this edition of the English Classics it has been the aim to adapt them for school and home reading, in essentially the same way as Greek and Latin Classics are edited for educational purposes. The chief requisites of such a work are a pure text (expurgated, if necessary), and the notes needed for its thorough explanation and illustration.
Each of Shakespeare's plays is complet in one volume, and is preceded by an Introduction containing the "History of the Play," the "Sources of the Plot," and "Critical Comments on the Play."
From HORACE HOWARD FURNESS, Ph.D., LL.D., Editor of the "New Variorum Shakespeare."
In my opinion Mr. Rolfe's series of Shakespeare's Plays is thoroughly admirable. No one can examine these volumes and fail to be impressed with the conscientious accuracy and scholarly completeness with which they are edited. The educational purposes for which the notes are written Mr. Rolfe never loses sight of, but like "a well-experienced archer hits the mark his eye doth level at."
From F. J. FURNIVALL, Director of the New Shakspere Society, London.
The merit I see in Mr. Rolfe's school editions of Shakspere's Plays over those most widely used in England is that Mr. Rolfe edits the plays as works of a poet, and not only as productions in Tudor English. Some editors think that all they have to do with a play is to state its source and explain its hard words and allusions; they treat it as they would a charter or a catalogue of household furniture, and then rest satisfied. But Mr. Rolfe, while clearing up all verbal difficulties as carefully as any Dryasdust, always adds the choicest extracts he can find, on the spirit and special "note" of each play, and on the leading characteristics of its chief personages. He does not leave the student without help in getting at Shakspere's chief attributes, his characterization and poetic power. And every practical teacher knows that while every boy can look out hard words in a lexicon for himself, not one in a score can, unhelped, catch points of and realize character, and feel and express the distinctive individuality of each play as a poetic creation.
From Prof. EDWARD Dowden, LL.D., of the University of Dublin, Author of "Shakspere: His Mind and Art."
I incline to think that no edition is likely to be so useful for school and home reading as yours. Your notes contain so much accurate instruction, with so little that is superfluous; you do not neglect the æsthetic study of the play; and in externals, paper, type, binding, etc., you make a book "pleasant to the eyes" (as well as "to be desired to make one wise")-no small matter, I think, with young readers and with old.
From EDWIN A. ABBOTT, M. A., Author of “Shakespearian Grammar.”
I have not seen any edition that compresses so much necessary information into so small a space, nor any that so completely avoids the common faults of commentaries on Shakespeare-needless repetition, superfluous explanation, and unscholar-like ignoring of difficulties.
From HIRAM CORSON, M.A., Professor of Anglo-Saxon and English Literature, Cornell University, Ithaca, N. Y.
In the way of annotated editions of separate plays of Shakespeare, for educational purposes, I know of none quite up to Rolfe's.
From Prof. F. J. CHILD, of Harvard University.
I read your "Merchant of Venice" with my class, and found it in every respect an excellent edition. I do not agree with my friend White in the opinion that Shakespeare requires but few notes-that is, if he is to be thoroughly understood. Doubtless he may be enjoyed, and many a hard place slid over. Your notes give all the help a young student requires, and yet the reader for pleasure will easily get at just what he wants. You have indeed been conscientiously concise.
Under date of July 25, 1879, Prof. CHILD adds: Mr. Rolfe's editions of plays of Shakespeare are very valuable and convenient books, whether for a college class or for private study. I have used them with my students, and I welcome every addition that is made to the series. They show care, research, and good judgment, and are fully up to the time in scholarship. I fully agree with the opinion that experienced teachers have expressed of the excellence of these books.
From Rev. A. P. PEABODY, D.D., Professor in Harvard University.
I regard your own work as of the highest merit, while you have turned the labors of others to the best possible account. I want to have the higher classes of our schools introduced to Shakespeare chief of all, and then to other standard English authors; but this cannot be done to advantage, unless under a teacher of equally rare gifts and abundant leisure, or through editions specially prepared for such use. I trust that you will have the requisite encouragement to proceed with a work so happily begun.
From the Examiner and Chronicle, N. Y.
We repeat what we have often said, that there is no edition of Shakespeare's which seems to us preferable to Mr. Rolfe's. As mere specimens of the printer's and binder's art they are unexcelled, and their other merits are equally high. Mr. Rolfe, having learned by the practical experience of the class-room what aid the average student really needs in order to read Shakespeare intelligently, has put just that amount of aid into his notes, and no more. Having said what needs to be said, he stops there. It is a rare virtue in the editor of a classic, and we are proportionately grateful for it.
From the N. Y. Times.
This work has been done so well that it could hardly have been done better. It shows throughout knowledge, taste, discriminating judgment, and, what is rarer and of yet higher value, a sympathetic appreciation of the poet's moods and purposes.
From the Pacific School Journal, San Francisco.
This edition of Shakespeare's plays bids fair to be the most valuable aid to the study of English literature yet published. For educational purposes it is beyond praise. Each of the plays is printed in large clear type and on excellent paper. Every difficulty of the text is clearly explained by copious notes. It is remarkable how many new beauties one may discern in Shakespeare with the aid of the glossaries attached to these books. ... Teachers can do no higher, better work than to inculcate a love for the best literature, and such books as these will best aid them in cultivating a pure and refined taste.
From the Christian Union, N. Y.
Mr. W. J. Rolfe's capital edition of Shakespeare-by far the best edition for school and parlor use. We speak after some practical use of it in a village Shakespeare Club. The notes are brief but useful; and the necessary expurgations are managed with discriminating skill.
From the Academy, London.
Mr. Rolfe's excellent series of school-editions of the Plays of Shakespeare. . . . Mr. Rolfe's editions differ from some of the English ones in looking on the plays as something more than word-puzzles. They give the student helps and hints on the characters and meanings of the plays, while the word-notes are also full and posted up to the latest date. Mr. Rolfe also adds to each of his books a most useful" Index of Words and Phrases explained."
PUBLISHED BY HARPER & BROTHERS, NEW YORK.
Any of the above works will be sent by mail, postage prepaid, to any part of the
SELECT POEMS OF THOMAS GRAY.
Notes, by WILLIAM J. ROLFE, A.M., formerly Head Master of the High School, Cambridge, Mass. Illustrated. Square 16mo, Paper, 40 cents; Cloth, 60 cents. (Uniform with Rolfe's Shakespeare.)
Mr. Rolfe has done his work in a manner that comes as near to perfection as man can approach. He knows his subject so well that he is competent to instruct all in it; and readers will find an immense amount of knowledge in his elegant volume, all set forth in the most admirable order, and breathing the most liberal and enlightened spirit, he being a warm appreciator of the divinity of genius.-Boston Traveller.
The great merit of these books lie in their carefully-edited text, and in the fulness of their explanatory notes. Mr. Rolfe is not satisfied with simply expounding, but he explores the entire field of English literature, and therefrom gathers a multitude of illustrations that are interesting in themselves and valuable as a commentary on the text. He not only instructs, but stimulates his readers to fresh exertion; and it is this stimulation that makes his labors so productive in the school-room.—Saturday Evening Gazette, Boston.
Mr. William J. Rolfe, to whom English literature is largely indebted for annotated and richly-illustrated editions of several of Shakespeare's Plays, has treated the "Select Poems of Thomas Gray" in the same way —just as he had previously dealt with the best of Goldsmith's poems.— The Press, Phila.
Mr. Rolfe's edition of Thomas Gray's select poems is marked by the same discriminating taste as his other classics.-Springfield Republican.
Mr. Rolfe's rare abilities as a teacher and his fine scholarly tastes enable him to prepare a classic like this in the best manner for school use. There could be no better exercise for the advanced classes in our schools than the critical study of our best authors, and the volumes that Mr. Rolfe has prepared will hasten the time when the study of mere form will give place to the study of the spirit of our literature.-Louisville CourierJournal.
An elegant and scholarly little volume.-Christian Intelligencer, N. Y.
PUBLISHED BY HARPER & BROTHERS, NEW YORK.
Sent by mail, postage prepaid, to any part of the United States, on receipt of the price and one-sixth additional for postage.