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Ann Thompson

Professor Ann Thompson

Emeritus Professor

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Professor Ann Thompson is active in a number of areas of Shakespeare Studies, notably (1) editing and textual studies, (2) women readers and critics of Shakespeare, (3) Shakespeare’s language. These might seem like very different areas, but  Professor Thompson sees them connected by her interest in ‘what Shakespeare actually wrote’ (and the precise words in which he expressed himself) and in the ‘afterlife’ of his work: how it has been staged, filmed, adapted and read over 400 years.

Professor Thompson is one of the General Editors of the Arden Shakespeare series and has edited, with Neil Taylor, all three texts of Hamlet in two volumes in that series (Hamlet and Hamlet: The Texts of 1603 and 1623, both 2006).  She has also co-edited, with Professor Gordon McMullan, a collection of essays, In Arden: Editing Shakespeare (2003).  Ann co-edited, with Sasha Roberts, Women Reading Shakespeare, 1660-1900 (1997) and co-authored an essay on Mary Cowden Clarke as a Victorian Shakespeare scholar.  She is currently working with Gail Marshall of the University of Leicester on a chapter on Mary Cowden Clarke for the forthcoming Great Shakespeareans series.

Professor Thompson's interest in Shakespeare’s language dates back to the book she co-authored with her husband, John O Thompson, Shakespeare, Meaning and Metaphor (1987), with whom she has also co-authored a number of essays in this field.  Ann's currently thinking centres around the study of Shakespeare and metonymy.

For more details, please see Professor Thompson's full research profile.

Expertise and Public Engagement

Professor Thompson is  director of the London Shakespeare Centre based at King’s and co-organiser of the London Shakespeare Seminar.  She is on the Advisory Boards of the journals Shakespeare Survey and Shakespeare (the relatively new journal of the British Shakespeare Association) and the Advisory Board of the International Shakespeare Association (conference committee).  Professor Thompson frequently lecture on Shakespeare at conferences and other events in the UK and overseas including, in the last few years, the USA, Canada, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Japan and Taiwan.