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For this updated critical edition of Romeo and Juliet, Hester Lees-Jeffries has written a completely new introduction. It draws on recent research in theatre to set Romeo and Juliet in its mid-1590s context, making connections with other plays by Shakespeare and other literature of the period, as well as with the social and cultural contexts of the day, with discussions of London and Italy, dancing and duelling, marriage, gender and sexuality. It includes detailed discussion of the play in performance from the Restoration to the present day, with a particular focus on film (including global cinema), music and dance, and also explores other adaptations and afterlives, including young-adult fiction. The edition retains the commentary and Textual Analysis of the previous editor, G. Blakemore Evans; the Textual Analysis is prefaced with a short note contextualising its conclusions in the light of more recent research.

Introduction by:  
Edited by:  
Imprint:   Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Edition:   3rd Revised edition
Dimensions:   Height: 229mm,  Width: 152mm,  Spine: 11mm
Weight:   440g
ISBN:   9781108461825
ISBN 10:   1108461824
Series:   The New Cambridge Shakespeare
Pages:   264
Publication Date:  
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Primary
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Introduction; Help and Advice; Note on the Text; List of Characters; The Play; Supplementary Notes; Note on Textual Analysis; Textual Analysis; Reading List.

Hester Lees-Jeffries has been teaching Shakespeare and early modern literature at the University of Cambridge for more than twenty years, and also has extensive experience working with secondary school teachers. She is the author of two books, England's Helicon (2007) and Shakespeare and Memory (2013), and many articles and essays on Shakespeare and his contemporaries; she is particularly interested in performance and in visual and material culture. She is a member of the editorial board of Shakespeare Survey and the advisory board of Cambridge Shakespeare Editions. Since 2018, she has written a daily #SlowShakespeare blog, reading a single play over many months and tweeting @starcrossed2018.

Reviews for Romeo and Juliet

'Sometimes, Romeo and Juliet's very familiarity makes it surprisingly difficult to read, to teach, and to perform. Hester Lees-Jeffries' wonderful introduction refreshes its lyric and emotional possibilities. She combines empathy with analysis, uncovering a play that is at once deeply rooted in Elizabethan poetry and in the ongoing psychology of ideas about love, youth, and tragedy. I felt she was giving us this most famous of plays anew.' Emma Smith, University of Oxford 'Hester Lees-Jeffries' introduction is as accessible as it is wide-ranging and profoundly learned. It takes the reader on a journey through key themes and the play's long and complex performance history, which includes opera, musicals, and ballet. The scholarship and sensibility are up-to-the-minute and the writing, while not pulling any punches where they are deserved, is profoundly attuned to the play's own lyricism and tenderness. With a final section dedicated to productions screened during the COVID-19 pandemic, this is a landmark edition for a new generation of readers.' Pascale Aebischer, University of Exeter 'In popular imagination Romeo and Juliet stands out as a tower among Shakespeare's plays, thanks to its secure place in school curricula, its famous speeches and scenes, its rich production history, and the frequency with which it has been turned into operas, ballets, and films. Lees-Jeffries' new introduction adjusts this splendid isolation by platting the play's connections round about: with romantic poems of the 1590s, with scripts that Shakespeare was writing at the same time, with actors who likely first played the roles, with changing ideas about marriage in the period, with dueling practices, with sexuality and body-language, and with reimaginings of the play across more than four centuries and in multiple media. Lees-Jeffries offers not only a sympathetic and wide-ranging introduction to Romeo and Juliet but a concise history of performance practices and social history in Shakespeare's time.' Bruce R. Smith, University of Southern California

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