Off the Shelf: Shakespeare and World Cinema, Oxford Illustrated Shakespeare Dictionary, and more

Looking for a new addition to your bookshelf? Here’s a survey of some recently published books about Shakespeare, Queen Elizabeth I, and the early modern age.

Pop Sonnets: Shakespeare Spins on Your Favorite Songs

by Erik Didriksen

“Alas! I once again have erred,” sings Britney Spears in one of 100 classic pop songs reinterpreted as Shakespeare sonnets. Everybody’s favorite tunes by famous artists—from Bruce Springsteen and Beyoncé, to Bruno Mars and the Beastie Boys—are given the iambic treatment in this collection of entertaining verse.

Virtuous Necessity: Conduct Literature and the Making of the Virtuous Woman in Early Modern England

by Jessica Murphy

Early modern women were expected to be silent, chaste, and obedient—or were they? A scholar studies the letters and literature of the period, and reviews the current thinking about gender theory and philosophy, in an effort to re-examine the cultural and behavioral expectations for women of Shakespeare’s time.

Shakespeare and World Cinema

by Mark Thornton Burnett

How do Romeo and Juliet play in movies around the world? A Renaissance scholar analyzes more than seventy films—from Africa, the Arctic, Brazil, China, France, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, Tibet, Venezuela, Yemen and elsewhere—and talks with filmmakers and auteurs to see how Shakespeare is being interpreted outside Hollywood.

Elizabeth I and Her Circle

by Susan Doran

A Tudor historian takes a new slant on the Virgin Queen, focusing on private letters, verse, journals, and state documents to shed light on her relationships with the family members, courtiers, and counselors who constituted her inner circle—and to explore how these relationships influenced her personal and political life.

Still Time

by Jean Hegland

A new novel by the author of Into the Forest tells the story of an accomplished scholar slipping into dementia whose devotion to Shakespeare helps him make sense of his new reality, allowing him to come to terms with a hazily-remembered past that includes his estranged daughter.

The Reformation of Emotions in the Age of Shakespeare

by Steven Mullaney

The Reformation, which shook the foundations of religious faith, also had a profound effect on people’s emotions. A scholar of Renaissance drama shows how popular plays of the day reflected changes in social, critical, and affective thought, and how the works themselves helped  reshape the emotional landscape of their times.

Oxford Illustrated Shakespeare Dictionary

by David and Ben Crystal

This colorful, easy-to use dictionary of words and terms from Shakespeare’s works includes not only definitions but also sample sentences from the plays in which they were used; notes on staging and pronunciation; and special sections on swords, ships, clothing, music, and other aspects of early modern life.