Saturday, July 18, 2009

Least Popular Works, Demonstrated

People following me on Twitter watched this play out, but I thought it’d make a blog post as well.  Wandering through town today I stopped into a used book store. High up on the top shelf I saw a stack of small books that read “Temple Shakespeare", $15/volume.”

I googled around a bit to see if there was anything special about the collection, then decided to go check it out anyway.  What volumes did he have, I asked?

Merry Wives

Richard II

Troilus and Cressida

King John

All’s Well That Ends Well

Measure for Measure

Two Gentlemen of Verona

Titus Andronicus

Rape of Lucrece

Venus and Adonis

That certainly says something about the popularity of the works.  If you’re gonna pick over a collection volume by volume, you can see the Hamlet and the Dream and such going first…these are the leftovers.


I went with the Venus and Adonis.  Fourth edition, 1899.  I’ll let you know more about it once I have time.


Stacie said...

Richard II was left? I'm surprised! Not just because it's a favorite, but it's also reputed as one of the most poetic--written around the time of A Midsummer Night's Dream and Romeo and Juliet.

Anyway, they still sound like fun!

catkins said...

Poetic indeed. It is written entirely in blank verse. Not a stitch of prose.

catkins said...

I am surprised Henry VIII is not on the list. I always find that one a bit dull.

Craig said...

Good luck with Venus and Adonis. I won't make a secret of the fact that I really can't abide any of the long narrative poems, but Venus is the best of the lot. Lucrece is tedious and appalling; Venus is just tedious. The naughty bits aren't even very naughty. And yet they were both smash hits in their day. Just goes to show you how tastes change, I guess.

Duane said...

I was doing that from memory when I got home, some H8 may have been there, I couldn't say for certain. Richard2 definitely was, though, because when he said Richard I was waiting for him to say 3 and he didn't.

Craig, I went with the V&A primarily because I'm unfamiliar with it and it was such a smash hit. I do try to keep my mind open to learning new stuff. Heck, 3 months ago I was no big fan of the sonnets, and look at the traffic of the blog lately :).