An inaugural lecture by Professor John Jowett, Chair of Shakespeare Studies at the Shakespeare Institute.
Shakespeare is a book. Despite the complex and sometimes agitated presence of Shakespeare in our culture - in theatre, film, education, and advertising, as biography and as icon - Shakespeare is nothing if not a text, or, rather, an embodied collection of texts. This lecture will affirm the primacy of reading texts, and hence preparing editions. Editions mediate the text between the specific historical moment of Shakespeare and the specific historical moment of now. Each new edition re-encounters both. The lecture will consider some prospects for a new complete works that will be fit for purpose in a world where an edition might need to be capable of realization as both a printed and an electronic book.