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Old September 24th, 2001, 11:16
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1999.05.10 Shakespeare and Monteverdi

This week's recommended reading focuses on classical literature. Does reading the classics have any health benefits? Probably. We do know that it certainly adds a depth to life that reading newspapers, magazines, and trade journals simply  cannot supply. With the revival of Shakespeare's plays in the popular cinema, at least reading the classics will prepare you for some hit movies this summer!

A good way to introduce your children to Shakespeare is through the
illustrated book   Shakespeare for Children. This not only is good for children- but also an excellent book for adult readers- people that would like to read Shakespeare but don't want to translate. This book puts Shakespeare's works into 20th century English.  Another excellent choice is  A Midsummer Night's Dream: For Kids which is part of the Shakespeare Can Be Fun series. Lois Burdett, who put together this series, is an elementry school teacher in Ontario, Canada. Here's what one student said about the book after reading it:


"In the olden days there was a stupid law. Girls HAD to marry whoever their fathers picked or their heads would get chopped off their necks! Hermia's father didn't think Lysander was so hot. He ordered her to marry Demetruis." --Alison Dickens, age 7



It's recommended that families also have in their home library a complete compilation of Shakespeare's works, in the original form. You really can't beat the price of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare [UNABRIDGED].

To really round out your Shakespeare experience, why not get some music from
the same time period?  One of the major figures in music at the turn of the 16th century to the early 17th was Claudio Monteverdi. A major musical form at the time was the madrigal, and a good collection of Monteverdi's madrigals is Monteverdi: Ottavo Libro dei Madriali / Concerto Italiano. Monteverdi's classic work, Orfeo, is a true classic from the period and definitely recommended.

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