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Leslie Dunton-Downer received a PhD with Distinction in comparative literature from Harvard. She has served as a lecturer at her alma mater, and is a trustee of the Harvard Advocate and a member of the Society of Fellows. She was a 2014 fellow at the American Academy in Berlin. She is the coauthor, with Alan Riding, of DK's Essential Shakespeare Handbook and Eyewitness Companions: Opera, and the author of The English Is Coming!: How One Language Is Sweeping the World. For 12 years, Alan Riding was the European cultural correspondent for the New York Times. He was previously bureau chief for the Times in Paris, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro, and Mexico City. Riding is the author of And the Show Went On and Distant Neighbors: A Portrait of the Mexicans. He lives in Paris with his wife, Marlise Simons, a writer for the Times.
"Essential Shakespeare Handbook deserves a place next to your edition of Shakespeare's plays. Leslie Dunton-Downer, a former lecturer at Harvard, and Alan Riding, the European cultural correspondent for The Times, have written a guide to the poems and plays that is scholarly without being recondite, succinct without being superficial." - The New York Times Book Review "Students will like the glossy, well-illustrated format; it is an English teacher's dream. Recommended." - Library Media Connection "This simple, colorful handbook is a perfect companion to the playwright's complete works." - Library Journal