Professor Sir Stanley Wells CBE, FRSL is a former Life Trustee (1975-2017) and former Chairman of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust (1991-2011), Emeritus Professor of Shakespeare Studies of the University of Birmingham, and Honorary Emeritus Governor of the Royal Shakespeare Company, of which he was for many years Vice-Chairman. He holds a PhD of the University of Birmingham, is an Honorary Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford and of University College, London and holds honorary doctorates from Furman University, South Carolina, and from the Universities of Munich, Hull, Durham, Warwick, Marburg and Craiova. He received a knighthood in the 2016 Queen's Birthday Honours in recognition of his services to Shakespeare scholarship.
His books include Literature and Drama; Royal Shakespeare: Studies of Four Major Productions at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre; Modernizing Shakespeare’s Spelling; Re-editing Shakespeare for the Modern Reader; and Shakespeare: the Poet and his Plays. He edited A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Richard II, and The Comedy of Errors for the New Penguin Shakespeare and King Lear for the Oxford Shakespeare. He was for nearly twenty years the editor of the annual, Shakespeare Survey. He has edited The New Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare Studies and is General Editor (with Gary Taylor) of The Complete Oxford Shakespeare, co-author of William Shakespeare: A Textual Companion and General Editor of the Penguin Shakespeare.
His most recent books are Shakespeare in the Theatre: An Anthology of Criticism; The Oxford Dictionary of Shakespeare; The Oxford Companion to Shakespeare (edited with Michael Dobson); Shakespeare For All Time; Looking for Sex in Shakespeare; Shakespeare’s Sonnets and Coffee with Shakespeare, both co-authored with Paul Edmondson; Shakespeare & Co.; Is It True What they Say About Shakespeare?; Shakespeare, Sex, and Love; Great Shakespeare Actors, William Shakespeare: A Very Short Introduction; Shakespeare on Page and Stage: Selected Essays, edited by Paul Edmondson, and Shakespeare's Tragedies: A Very Short Introduction.
Together with Paul Edmondson he has edited Shakespeare Beyond Doubt and The Shakespeare Circle, for Cambridge University Press.