June 26, 2012
Et tu, Kindle
by Nick Davies
The Folger Shakespeare Library has been publishing William Shakespeare’s plays for years, and it announced this week that it’s releasing its highly popular New Folger Library editions as e-books.
Widely used by high school and college students across the country, the Folger paperbacks feature annotations on every other page, facing the original text, which include explanatory notes on Shakespeare’s language, illustrations from the library’s holdings, and notes that detail departures from early printed editions of the plays. Per the Folger’s website, “Completely re-edited, these editions put readers in touch with current ways of thinking about Shakespeare. Each text is based directly on what the editors consider the best early printed version of a particular play, poem, or collection of poems, and each volume contains full explanatory notes on the page facing the text that they explain.”
In collaboration with Folger, Simon and Schuster is publishing several of Shakespeare’s plays digitally, including Julius Caesar, Hamlet, and The Merchant of Venice, for $5.95 each. The e-book editions will maintain the pagination of the paperbacks, with the line-by-line commentary on each facing page, as well as hyperlinks from text to more in-depth essays and illustrations. The goal is, Simon and Schuster says, to “”preserve the look and feel of the editions that have delighted readers for decades.”
Here’s a selection of screenshots from the free sample of Julius Caesar: Cover page for Julius Caesar Act I, scene i of Julius Caesar A page from Julius Caesar including a hyperlink to explanatory images Introductory essay to Julius Caesar
Cover page for Julius Caesar
Act I, scene i of Julius Caesar
A page from Julius Caesar including a hyperlink to explanatory images
Introductory essay to Julius Caesar
Nick Davies was a publicist at Melville House.