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World leading publishing house releases VC's book on Shakespeare comedies

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A new book by a University Vice Chancellor has been released by one of the world’s top publishing houses.

Shakespeare’s Comedies is the latest in the All That Matters series, written by Glyndŵr University Vice Chancellor, Professor Michael Scott.

The offering has already proven popular; it was so well-received that publisher Hodder & Stoughton asked Prof Scott to produce an updated version of the Complete Introduction to Shakespeare by 2016, to mark the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death.

“This book has been a couple of years in the making, a real labour of love,” said Prof Scott, a Professor of English and Theatre Studies at the Wrexham institution.

“As a Professor of English I have always tried to lead by example at the University, and producing books like this, which have gone on to publish and sell well, is the best way to do that.

“Reading and writing about Shakespeare have always been my greatest passions so I hope people will enjoy it.”

Prof Scott added: “The same publisher has also asked me to write the Complete Introduction to Shakespeare over the next two years.

“Life at Glyndŵr University is always full steam ahead but this is my hobby so I always try to find time for it – I am delighted with the result.”

In Shakespeare's Comedies, Prof Scott explores and explains the secrets that have made them so enduring that they continue to be performed, watched and studied by millions of people every year.

He focuses in turn on the Comedy of Errors, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Twelfth Night, As You Like It and The Merchant of Venice and builds an argument based around Shakepeare's use of language to prompt the audience's imagination and thought.

Prof Scott has taught Shakespeare for over 35 years and also tutored A Level students. For over 10 years he worked as a visiting lecturer with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

He has extensive experience also of teaching Shakespeare worldwide, including as Visiting Professor in English at Georgetown University. In Spring 2013, he conducted an extensive lecture tour on Shakespeare in China.

Prof Scott was the founding editor of the influential Text and Performance Series and The Critics Debate Series used extensively in school and university programmes, and he continues to work and lecture on Shakespeare for a variety of audiences both for education and the general public.

His latest offering comes after his medieval anthology sold more than 3,000 copies in China alone.

Ten Stories of King Arthur was published by the Beijing-based Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press.

The book sold out its first print run in English and was officially launched at a reception in the Wales Office, attended by the Cultural Minister Counsellor from the Chinese Embassy, Xiang Xiaowei.

A second English-language print run is planned, and will be followed by a Mandarin Chinese version.

Prof Scott said: “I am delighted how popular the English version is over in China and I am looking forward to the release of the book in Mandarin.

“I am very grateful to my Chinese friends who helped make its publication possible, to my family for their support, and to Daphne Todd for her wonderful illustrations.”

Mr Xiang added: “The legends and stories about our past are important to our culture. We are grateful to Professor Scott for sharing stories of Wales’ ancestors in China, and we look forward to working with the university to bring more Welsh culture to China.”

Prof Scott’s other books include John Marston’s Plays: Theme, Structure and Performance; Renaissance Drama and a Modern Audience, and Shakespeare and the Modern Dramatist.

He has also just been invited to Moscow Bauman State Technological University, an international partner of Glyndŵr, to receive the Honourable Sign of Merits, the Russian institution’s highest accolade.

Notable publications from Hodder & Stoughton include Peter Pan and Wendy by J.M Barrie, Goodbye Mr Chips, The Ipcress File and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.
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