NOTE: Since it is often difficult (and sometimes impossible) to find all of these titles locally, I have linked the titles of available books to the bookstore, where you may, if you wish, purchase the book(s). There are, of course, other on-line bookstores where you can buy books, including Powell's Books and Barnes & Noble. Titles of Shakespeare's plays have been linked to on-line texts. The required texts for the courses are available in the Dixie College Bookstore.

Extra Credit Book List


Shakespeare’s Comedies (ENGL 2520)
Shakespeare’s Tragedies & Histories (ENGL 2530)

Reading any of the titles on this list (except, of course, the required texts for the class), writing a 100 word reaction to it, and discussing it with me is worth 5 points (unless it is marked otherwise). Writing a 500 word paper is worth 5 points for the paper, plus 5 points for the book, and no discussion is necessary. You may earn up to 20 points of extra credit in this way. In addition, you may earn extra credit by writing a one-scene screenplay from one of Shakespeare's plays, using the computer text available in the library. Each such scene is worth 5 points. Another extra-credit possibility which uses the computer text is examining Shakespeare's use of a word or phrase in one play or several. You would then write a 500 word summary of what you found; this is worth 10 points (or if you examine 3 or more plays, it is worth 15 points). All extra credit must be in two weeks before the quarter ends.

Plays by Shakespeare's contemporaries (you may also read other Elizabethan plays, but check with me first):

Plays by Shakespeare (you may read any play by Shakespeare, but I especially recommend those listed below):





Biographies of Shakespeare and Others:


Francis Bacon

Francis Drake

  • Drake: England’s Greatest Seafarer—Ernle Bradford, 1965
  • Sir Francis Drake—John Sugden, 1990
  • Sir Francis Drake—George Malcolm Tomson, 1972

Elizabeth I

  • Elizabeth I—Rosalind K. Marshall, 1991
  • Elizabeth I—Anne Somerset, 1991
  • Elizabeth I: The Shrewdness of Virtue—Jasper Ridley, 1987
  • Elizabeth the Great—Elizabeth Jenkins, 1958
  • Elizabeth Tudor—Lacey Baldwin Smith, 1975
  • Marriage With My Kingdom—Alison Plowden, 1977
  • Queen Elizabeth I—J.E. Neale (10 points), 1934
  • The Virgin Queen: Elizabeth I, Genius of the Golden Age—Christopher Hibbert, 1991

Henry IV

  • Henry IV of England—J. L. Kirby, 1970
  • The Usurper King: Henry of Bolingbroke 1366-99—Marie Louise Bruce, 1986

Henry V

  • Agincourt—Christopher Hibbert, 1992
  • Henry V—Christopher Allmand, 1992
  • Henry V as Warlord—Desmond Seward, 1987
  • Henry V: The Cautious Conqueror—Margaret Wade Labarge, 1975
  • King Henry V: A Biography—Harold F. Hutchinson, 1967
  • The Reign of Henry the Fifth (3 vols.)—James Hamilton Wylie (5 points per vol.), 1914-1929

Henry VIII

James I

  • James I—David Mathew, 1967
  • King James VI & I—David Harris Willson, 1956


Christopher Marlowe

Thomas More

  • Statesman and Saint: Cardinal Wolsey, Sir Thomas More and the Politics of Henry VIII—Jasper Ridley, 1982

Philip II

Walter Ralegh

Richard II

Richard III

Mary Stuart

  • Mary Queen of Scotland and the Isles—Stefan Zweig, 1935
  • Mary Queen of Scots—Antonia Fraser, 1969


General Introductions and Criticism:

Shakespeare on Film:

Modern Plays and Novels on Shakespearean and Elizabethan Themes:

  • A Bloody Field by Shrewsbury (novel)—Edith Pargeter, 1972
  • Coriolanus, The Chariot!—Alan Yates (a science fiction novel in which "the Word of Shakespeare is Law"), 1978
  • The Daughter of Time—Josephine Tey (a murder mystery about Richard III), 1951
  • Elizabeth R—(a six-part BBC production starring Glenda Jackson, available in the Dixie College Library—5 points per 90 min. segment) Part 1—The Lion's Cub; Part 2—The Marriage Game; Part 3—Shadow in the Sun; Part 4—Horrible Conspiracies; Part 5—The Enterprise of England; Part 6—Sweet England's Pride
  • Falstaff (novel)—Robert Nye, 1976
  • House of Cards—Michael Dobbs (a modern novel about a murderous politician based on Richard III), 1990
  • I Hate Hamlet—Paul Rudnick, 1991
  • The King's Minion—Rafael Sabatini (a novel about James I), 1930
  • Macbeth the King (novel)—Nigel Tranter, 1978
  • A Man For All Seasons—Robert Bolt, 1960
  • The Players' Boy is Dead (novel)—Leonard Tourney, 1980
  • The Quality of Mercy (novel)—Faye Kellerman, 1989
  • The Queen's Head (novel)—Edward Marston, 1988
  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead—Tom Stoppard, 1967
  • The Silent Woman (an Elizabethan theater mystery)—Edward Marston, 1994
  • A Thousand Acres—Jane Smiley (Pulitzer-Prize winning update of King Lear), 1991
  • To Play the King—Michael Dobbs (sequel to the BBC version of House of Cards), 1992
  • Weird Tales from Shakespeare—ed. by Katherine Kerr and Martin H. Greenberg (a collection of science fiction stories about Shakespeare and his characters), 1994
  • The Wisest Fool—Nigel Tranter (a novel about James I), 1974

Copyright © 1997 by Ace G. Pilkington. All Rights Reserved.
Revised: May 1998