July 15th, 2012

Rose-coloured reviews *Hamlet* by William Shakespeare, illustrated by Harold Copping

I won this book in a raffle two years, and was pleased, then put it on a shelf. Somewhere in the time the book spent on the shelf, I apparently decided it was a graphic novel of Hamlet, without ever bothering to check. I was excited to include it in the *Off the Shelf* challenge this year–wouldn’t a graphic novel of *Hamlet* be great?

Probably, but this isn’t one–it’s just the play with a few illustrations by Harold Copping, who according to the introduction was one of the most popular English illustrators of the late 19th and early 20th century. Probably, but I already have a pretty vivid mental image of how these characters looked, and as Copping’s image did not agree with mine, I really didn’t enjoy the illustrations.

I still read the play–it was part of my reading challenge for the year, and even on 5th or 6th read, there’s still plenty to be learned from the play (probably only 20th, too). I’m not going to bother to review it, though–if you don’t know that *Hamlet*’s pretty good, nothing I say is going to convince you.

I actually really hated the edition, not only because of the illustrations, which are probably appealing to those who haven’t already decided what they look like (Ethan Hawke ftw). But the book is 8.5 x 11 inches and hardback, which makes it very challenging to read on the bus or even put in my bag. I image this would be great for a school edition or some such. If anyone desires it more than I do, please message me at the “contact” button above, and if we can arrange a handoff it’s yours. Otherwise I’ll donate it to a charity bookdrive at the end of the year and return to my small, manageable, unillustrated paperback copy.

This is my 7th/July book for the To Be Read reading challenge. More to come!!

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