In other words, here's some of the Hamlet-related stuff I've collected over the past 18 years. I thought you might be interested in seeing some of the books and movies I've been talking about during this read-along.
First and foremost, my copies of the play's text:
The one on the very bottom is the one I'm using for the read-along. The teensy one on the top was a gift from my friend Eva recently. The one directly under it, with the sort of greyish cover, is the one I used in college when I both studied and taught this play. Most of these I've bought used over the years -- the only ones I've bought new are the bottom one, the one for college, and one in the middle with a blue stripe that has Jude Law on the cover.
Why on earth do I have 16 copies of the text? (Not counting the Charles and Mary Lamb retelling or the Cliffs Notes, which should have gone in a different photo.) Because each one has interesting notes, commentaries, essays, and so forth, and I love seeing what other people have to say about this play and learning from them. I have not read all of these yet! I like to pull one out every now and then to learn something new. I rarely let myself gorge on Hamlet the way I've been doing this month.
Then here are my illustrated retellings:
The only one I've read all the way through is the Manga version on top, which is gorgeous. Just haven't gotten to the others yet.
Here are some books that are about the play, but don't contain the full text:
The top two are the ones I've been referencing a lot during the read-along, There is Nothing Like a Dane! is a humorous collection of anecdotes about playing the role on stage, and of course Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead is a retelling in play form. I haven't read I Am Hamlet yet.
See all those sticky notes in the top two books?
Those are marking all the places where they say things I think I might want to share with you during the read-alongs. All the ones I haven't shared already, that is -- I pull them out when I'm finished with them.
And here's what I affectionately call "the doorstop." I bought this on June 26, 1997, after reading several of Shakespeare's plays in a big book from the library and deciding I wanted my own copy. I think I might have bought this while at the beach on a church youth group trip, actually. This is the copy where I first read Hamlet.
And you can tell, by the fact that the binding is broken there and naturally opens straight to this play, that I re-read this copy several times between then and going to college the next year.
In fact... this whole play just comes right out of the book, along with King Lear. That actually happened my senior year of college when I was taking a Shakespeare course and lugging this book around all semester -- we studied Lear and my binding gave up at that point.
Here's something I found tucked inside the back of that book: notes I took the very first time I read the play!
I didn't like having to flip back to the list of characters to remember who all these people with strange names were, so I copied them out and used this as a bookmark. I did that with a bunch of other plays too -- I found those lists as well. I also wrote down a bunch of favorite lines as I read.
Once I got to the "to be or not to be" soliloquy, you can see I just gave up jotting down favorite lines because I had too many -- I just wrote down the scene it was in and the page number and left it at that.
Anyway, here are all the movie versions I own:
I haven't yet watched Hamlet at Elsinore, which stars a young Christopher Plummer and is a recording of him in the role at the yearly Hamlet production in Elsinore itself. Saving that one for a future treat. I've only seen Legend of the Black Scorpion once, but the others I've watched three or more times each. I shelve them in order of production, so they range from Burton's in the '60s to Tennant's in the '00s.
Finally, here are a couple things I have hanging on the walls in my library:
Those are both the full magazines, I didn't rip the covers off them. One is a copy of Life from the '60s with a big interview with Richard Burton in it, and also some articles about Shakespeare in general. The other is my Playbill from when I saw Hamlet performed live. Since Burton and Law are two of my absolute favorite Hamlets, I like having them paired up on my wall this way.
And this is a print of Hamlet from Etsy shop Immortal Longings. In it, reflected, you can kind of see two other prints I have on the opposite wall that are from the same shop, but of Much Ado About Nothing and The Taming of the Shrew instead. (You can see those in this post on my other blog.)
I have a few other Hamlet-related things, but they're mostly just interesting to me, and this post is pretty long as it is, so we'll just quit here.