, Columbia University press, N.Y: 1941.
A loving, yet thorough study of who went to see Shakespeare’s plays. Some of Harbage’s findings are surprising and amusing. Above all, his gentle humor and delight in his historical snooping make the book a pleasure to read.
Yale University Press, New Raven: 1958.
The ideal companion to Harbage. This little book—only 111 pages—brings together all we know about the Elizabethan stage. Some of the accounts of incidents in the theaters are delightful and will liven up your Shakespeare in the classroom.
E.P. Dutton, N.Y: 1960.
If you think that a passage from Shakespeare might contain some veiled obscenity, you’re probably right; and this naughty little book will verify it. It contains a useful introductory essay and an ample glossary of terms. Meander, go to’t, and see what hidden treasures “‘Ireland, clip, trot, punk, try, and cover” can yield.
The Elizabethan World picture
, Random House, N.Y: 1942.
This little book—109 pages—traces the cosmology, symbolism and ideas which inhabited the minds of the Elizabethans, with plentiful examples from Shakespeare, Donne and Milton. Students of astrology will find this particularly exciting. Seasons, humors, the four elements, the Cosmic Dance—a full representation of the 400-year gap in science and our sense of the world.
Shakespeare and the popular Tradition in the Theater
, John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore: 1978.
A dense, scholarly and academic treatise seeking Shakespeare’s theatrical origins. If you can wade through the convoluted arguments, there is a lot of fascinating stuff here; but Harbage and Nagler will do just fine for high school purposes.