The Books

Shakespeare’s Words a Glossary & Language Companion

Where it all started. A convenient hard-copy resource for scholars, students, and actors, this book contains glosses and quotes for over 14,000 words that could be misunderstood by or are unknown to a modern audience. Displayed panels (the Themes and Topics of this website) look at such areas of Shakespeare’s language as greetings, swear-words, and terms of address. Plot summaries are included for all Shakespeare’s plays and on the facing page is a unique diagramatic representation of the relationships within each play (see the Circles on this website). An updated edition appeared in 2018.

Shakespeare’s Words a Glossary & Language Companion

An illustrated dictionary of all the words and meanings students of Shakespeare need to know, with example sentences from the twelve most studied plays. Usage notes and theatre notes provide additional background to Shakespearean times and the performance of his plays. Further support is provided by language panels on select topics such as the humours, swearing, and stage directions, and full-colour illustrated thematic spreads on special feature topics such as clothes, weapons, music, and ships. 

The Shakespeare Miscellany

The book contains a comprehensive listing and phonetic transcription of all the words in the First Folio, with their grammatical variants, supplemented by selected items from the poems and Quarto play texts. An extensive introduction presents the aims, evidence, history, and current use of original pronunciation. A code supplied with each book provides access to a website hosting an audio rendition of every word, recorded by the author.

The Shakespeare Miscellany

In the best tradition of sound-bites and pithily entertaining witticism, the authors gather together essential facts and fascinating insights about William Shakespeare and the world in which he lived and worked.


Shakespeare on Toast knocks the stuffing from the staid old myth of the Bard, revealing the man and his plays for what they really are: modern, thrilling, uplifting drama. The bright words and colourful characters of the greatest hack writer are brought brilliantly to life, sweeping cobwebs from the Bard - his language, his life, his world, his sounds, his craft. Ben reveals man and work as relevant, accessible, and alive - and, astonishingly, finds Shakespeare's own voice amid the poetry. Whether you're studying Shakespeare for the first time or you've never set foot near one of his plays but have always wanted to, this book smashes down the walls that have been built up around this untouchable literary figure. Told in five fascinating Acts, this is quick, easy and good for you. Just like beans on toast. Runner-up for the Educational Book of the Year award in 2010, a second edition, with three new chapters, was published in 2016.

Pronouncing Shakespeare The Globe Experiment

How did Shakespeare’s plays sound when they were originally performed? How can we know, and could the original pronunciation ever be recreated? For three days in June 2004 Shakespeare’s Globe presented their production of Romeo and Juliet in original, Shakespearean pronunciation. In an unusual blend of autobiography, narrative, and academic content, reflecting the unique nature of the experience, this 2005 book by David Crystal recounts the first attempt in over 50 years to mount a full-length Shakespeare play in original pronunciation. Crystal begins by discussing the Globe theatre’s approach to ‘original practices’, which has dealt with all aspects of Elizabethan stagecraft - except pronunciation. A large section is devoted to the nature of the Early Modern English sound system. An updated paperback edition appeared in 2018.


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