Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Shakespeare's Birthday Celebration & A Present

April 23rd is commonly celebrated as William Shakespeare's birthday. We know he was baptized on April 26, 1564, and he died on April 23, 1616. The date of April 23rd for his birthday is just a guess. That's no reason we can't celebrate today, though!

Sterling Publishing has a beautiful collection of books in their Sterling Signature Shakespeare. I have copies of Macbeth, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, and Much Ado About Nothing. Although each book has a separate editor who wrote the introduction to the play, they do have several things in common. Each volume contains the same commentary, "Shakespeare and His England" by Series Editor David Scott Kastan, one of the world's leading experts on Shakespeare. There is a chronology, a section about the words in the play, a key to the text, notes, and, along with the play itself, sections that discuss significant performances, and further reading.

However, I'm going to admit I'm shallow. I've already read three of these four plays. What attracted me to this series was the stunning physical make-up of the books. They are each hardcover books, at least 340 pages, and they include black-and-white illustrations from various editions. However, it's Kevin Stanton's illustrations that make each book physically memorable. Stanton specializes in hand-cut paper artwork. You can see a sample on the cover of Macbeth. But, you really can't appreciate the beauty of his work unless you see the paper-cut illustrations inside. Stanton's work makes each of these volumes stunning.

So, to celebrate William Shakespeare's birthday, Sterling Publishing will send one lucky winner a copy of their selected title. If you love one of those four plays, Macbeth, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, or Much Ado About Nothing, you might want to enter to win one of these gorgeous books.

I'm going to make it easy for you. Please comment on the blog. Tell me which play you would like to win, and include your email address. I'll select the winner Thursday evening, April 25, and email you so I can get your mailing address. You must live in the U.S. to win.

I'll admit, this giveaway is a little unusual for my blog, so there might not be too many entries. You have a good chance to win, as long as you follow the directions. Good luck!

And, here's the link to see all four of Sterling Publishing's Sterling Signature Shakespeare volumes -
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/shakespeare-signature-kevin-stanton?store=allproducts&keyword=shakespeare+signature+kevin+stanton





18 comments:

Anonymous said...

One of my favorite teachers--high school English-- shared Shakespeare's birthday. She instilled in me a great love for him. I would love to have Macbeth--a play that always reminds me of Mrs. Shipman. Email address is karenakkennedy @ gmail.com

Lesa said...

Thanks, Karen. Isn't it wonderful to have a teacher that instilled a love of literature? I had one, and I know how lucky we are. Good luck!

petite said...

Thanks for this delightful and meaningful giveaway. I enjoyed reading Shakespeare and was fortunate to see plays performed at Stratford, Ont. when I was younger. What an experience. I would enjoy Romeo and Juliet.elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

Lesa said...

What a wonderful experience, Elliot. Someday I hope to see some of the plays there. I was lucky enough to see Taming of the Shrew at The Folger Shakespeare Library in D.C. Good luck!

traveler said...

We studied Shakespeare in High school and university. The play that I adore is Much Ado About Nothing. What a special post today which I enjoyed greatly. Thanks so much. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Lesa said...

Thank you, Traveler. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Good luck!

Libby Dodd said...

When I was in high school, my mother worked on a Masters degree in English Lit. I joined her for a summer class in Shakespeare. Well, done productions, where the language flows, are a marvel.
libbydodd@comcast.net

Libby Dodd said...

Sorry. My preference is Much Ad.

Lesa said...

You're right, Libby. I won't forget some of the productions I've seen. Good luck!

Stephen D. Rogers said...

Hey Lesa,

I'll round out the choices by selecting HAMLET. sdr633@hotmail.com

Great books. Great plays. But then I'm sure you've heard that elsewhere. :)

Stephen

Lesa said...

Aren't they, Stephen? Funny, I heard that in a blog piece I read today called "30 Things to Tell a Book Snob" by Matt Haig. One of his comments was that Shakespeare was a popular writer in his day. Good luck!

Karen C said...

My daughter is a big Shakespeare fan. I would love to win "Much Ado About Nothing" for her. Thanks for a great giveaway, Lesa!

Karen C said...

Oh, so much for fast fingers! Sorry!!
kacbooks(at)hotmail(dot)com

Lesa said...

That's OK, Karen. Got it, now. Good luck!

Jane R said...

What lovely books and so fitting for the bard's birthday. It's difficult to choose a favorite but I would have to say "Hamlet".

According to one source, no other single work of fiction has produced more commonly used expressions. (I have a tendency to collect random bits of information). Thanks for the great giveaway!

jrobinson12@austin.rr.com

Lesa said...

I just wish everyone could win, Jane. I always liked the witches in Macbeth. Probably my favorite tragedy. But, my overall favorite would be Taming of the Shrew.

Anonymous said...

Oh, heck, I'd like all four!

How about: Romeo and Juliet

May I post comments for the others, too?

Lesa said...

Anonymous

You do have to give me an email address, though, if you want to be considered for any of them, or I can't email you to tell you if you win. Thanks! They're only sending one book, so just pick the one you want the most.