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The following bibliography is in several parts (see column on left to open). The first section consists of primary texts available in Shakespeare's time, following an introductory essay illustrating the theatrical relevance of some texts bearing on his plays. At the end of this section, part of Sir Philip Sidney's Apologie for Poesie is excerpted, as a sample of contemporary criticism of drama in England found in the bibliography.
Anonymous works are listed by their titles, anthologies under the first editor. Texts in English closely related to theatres and performances in Shakespeare's time are the primary focus, not pure literary criticism, and the numerous single-play editions in the Arden, Cambridge and Oxford series are barely mentioned, though most of the later ones have extensive coverage of production histories.
The lists are quite selective and variable in the character and quality of works cited: detailed accounts of their contents and utility may be found in more extensive texts by Hugh Macrae Richmond: Shakespeare's Theatre: A Dictionary of His Stage Context, London: Continuum International, 2002 (paperback 2nd edition, 2005); Shakespeare and the Renaissance Stage to 1616; and Shakespearean Stage History, 1616 to 1998, University of North Carolina at Asheville, N.C.: Pegasus Press, 1999. Sources and credits for occasional illustrations can be found in the relevant gallery sections.
Part of Merian's View, with the Bankside playhouses, as printed in Ludvig Gottfried's Neuwe Archontologia Cosmica (Frankfurt am Mayn, 1638). It shows London about the year 1612, and was based on Visscher's View and other sources. The Globe is center foreground, and can be better seen, much enlarged, at Gallery 1.Subgallery 1. p.1. Image 10.
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