This reissed edition of Longman Annotated Texts King Lear includes comprehensive notes, annotations and an introduction, all designed to be of use to undergraduates and interested readers.
King Lear is one of Shakespeare's most widely studied tragedies. However, since the late 1970s textual scholars, critics and editors have argued that there is no single 'King Lear' text. Anyone studying the play needs to be aware of two different texts, one based on the quarto of 1608, The History of King Lear, and a revised version published in the first folio of 1623, The Tragedy of King Lear. This edition offers a fully annotated, modern spelling version of the texts set side by side, identifying and elucidating the major discrepancies between the two. It presents some possible reasons for the differences between the two texts, which themselves shed light on a number of issues relating to literary transmission in the Renaissance and give an insight into the nature of performance and censorship.
René Weis is Professor of English at University College London. His most recent book is Shakespeare Revealed: A Biography (2007). He is currently editing Romeo and Julietfor the Arden Shakespeare.