Ghostly Fragments gathers the essays of the late Barbara C. Hodgdon, a renowned scholar of Shakespeare and performance studies. Her influential publications over thirty years reflected a remarkable intelligence, wit, and originality, as did her lectures and conference papers. Richard Abel and Peter Holland have selected essays that represent the wide sweep of Hodgdon's scholarship, including unpublished pieces and those from hard-to-access sources. The essays reveal a thinker and writer who grows more self-reflective over time, with a distinctive, engaging, often wryly humorous voice that is accessible even to nonspecialist readers.
Following a general introduction by Peter Holland, the book's five subsections (Teaching Shakespeare, Analyzing Stage Performances, Editing Shakespeare Texts, Analyzing Shakespeare Films, and "Shopping" in the Archives) are introduced in turn by scholars Miriam Gilbert, W.B. Worthen, Margaret Jane Kidnie, Richard Abel, and Pascale Aebischer. Collectively, the pieces confirm the originality and élan of Hodgdon's thinking and writing over time, and reveal her as a natural essayist and stylist, with a distinctive engaging voice. The collection is unique in not only bringing together so much of Hodgdon's work in one place (with an extensive bibliography of her published work) but also in demonstrating how groundbreaking and influential that work has been in the field.