A version of a written text, more often than not a collection of previously released material, that contains [[WordOfGod notes from the author]] ([[WordOfDante or someone else with insight into the work]]) in footnotes or sidebars.

This is very common with textbook editions of texts using foreign languages or archaic forms of English, usually to explain [[ValuesDissonance idioms that would never make sense]] [[SmallReferencePools to us modern, English-speaking folk]]. For instance, pretty much anything Creator/{{Shakespeare}} wrote has a few annotated editions. ''Literature/TheCanterburyTales'' and ''Literature/{{Beowulf}}'', being written in Middle and Old English respectively, are also commonly available in annotated editions.

Also common with certain classic works of {{Literature}}, especially those with a reputation for being "dense." ''Literature/FinnegansWake'' and ''{{Ulysses}}'' by Creator/JamesJoyce can be nearly impenetrable without annotation.

It can also serve as a way to explain creative decisions if the creator is A) still alive and B) the one doing the annotations. This variant is very common in collections of comics.
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!!Examples:

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[[folder:ComicStrip Collections]]
* ''BloomCounty: The Complete Library'' has annotations to explain then-relevant pop-culture references and explain who the political figures being caricatured are. Breathed himself pops up from time to time to explain character origins or thought processes, but mostly just to tell us which strips he thinks are his [[FunnyMoments crowning moments of funny]] and which are {{Old Shame}}s.
* ''CalvinAndHobbes'''s tenth anniversary best-of book has notes from Watterson, many of which go into more detail on his assorted {{Author Tract}}s or give artistic insight.
* ''PearlsBeforeSwine'''s treasury collections contain annotations from Pastis which try to elaborate on where ideas came from and detail reactions to the more controversial strips. And tell us which things he found impossible to draw.
* A few of the ''ComicStrip/{{Dilbert}}'' collections (usually the specialized ones) also have text commentary.
* Jess Nevins has a cottage industry annotating Creator/AlanMoore's ''LeagueOfExtraordinaryGentlemen''. An interesting variation in that his annotations are not published WITH the books, but first on the web, and, at least for Vols. I and II, in book form separately (''Heroes And Monsters'' and ''The Blazing World''). Moore has said that the existence of these annotations meant that "we could be as obscure and far-reaching as we wanted".
** Nevins has also posted annotations online for ''ComicBook/KingdomCome'', ''TopTen'', ''TheNail'', and other comics.
** Most recently, Nevins has compiled annotations for ''ComicBook/{{Fables}}'' which were officially published by DC as ''The Fables Encydlopedia''.
* Neil Gaiman's ''ComicBook/{{The Sandman}}'' is being released in an annotated four-volume set. An interesting variation here, as the annotated version has reprinted the entire series without colour, using the original black-and-white line-art, as opposed to being a strict reprint with added footnotes.
* While The Complete {{Peanuts}} does not have annotations, there is an online set of annotations for the various volumes here: [[http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Annotations_of_The_Complete_Peanuts]].
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[[folder:Film Screenplays]]
* ''Franchise/StarWars: The Annotated Screenplays'' has its annotations primarily focus on how the scripts of the original trilogy evolved from prior drafts. Scenes that changed in the [[ReCut Special Editions]] also had the original and revised versions placed alongside one another.
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[[folder: Literature Reprints]]
* ''The Annotated Alice'', an omnibus edition of ''Literature/AliceInWonderland'' and ''Literature/ThroughTheLookingGlass'' with annotations by Creator/MartinGardner explaining historical context, obscure in-jokes, etc. Gardner followed up with ''The Annotated [[Literature/TheHuntingOfTheSnark Hunting of the Snark]]''.
* ''The Annotated Christmas Carol'' includes the original text of 1843 and Dickens' 1867 Public Reading Text, which had its world premiere in America and hadn't been reprinted in nearly a century. The notes include explanatory descriptions of foods, customs, legal terms, socio-economic references and so on.
* The second printing of ''AmericaTheBook'' contains humorous "fact check" annotations in red ink.
* Almost all editions of Sun Tzu's ''Literature/TheArtOfWar'' include annotations by multiple ''classical-era'' authors, most notably Cao Cao. These make up 80% or so of the book and are normally considered an indispensible part of the text, providing far more information than the original work. Modern-era publishers will often add a ''second'' set of notes. These annotations help because some of the things said in it are vague, and some context is useful, and other things require some knowledge of early Chinese history to make sense.
* ''Literature/TheBible'' has a multitude of annotations. And these have annotations of their own.
** And depending on the translation and the publisher, [[TranslationWithAnAgenda those annotations can be insanely biased towards a particular interpretation]]. The guidelines for the King James Version specifically banned anything other than cross-references and alternate glosses in an effort to keep unwanted Puritan influences from creeping in.
** And in the other direction, there's the [[http://skepticsannotatedbible.com Skeptic's Annotated Bible]]. Now [[http://www.amazon.com/Skeptics-Annotated-Bible-Steve-Wells/dp/0988245108/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1368562834&sr=8-1 in print]]!
* Around 1970 the Classic Publishing Corporation put out a series of classical books with annotations, such as ''Captains Courageous'' and ''Around The World in Eighty Days''. The annotations explained the meaning of words modern readers might not understand.
* Most good editions of ''Literature/TheDivineComedy'' are heavily annotated: at the remove of 700 years or so, and given that Dante went on {{Author Tract}}s and {{Author Filibuster}}s in long stretches of the work about now-forgotten Florentine politicians or abstruse theological issues, it's often very difficult to tell who's who or what Dante is on about now without extensive footnotes.
** The first ever annotated edition was produced by Dante's son, who at one point in the ''Paradiso'' section notoriously gave up and admitted that even he had no idea what his father was talking about.
* Leonard Wolf's ''The Annotated Dracula'' (1975) explained a great deal of background information about ''Literature/{{Dracula}}'' that most readers wouldn't know about.
* Almost all editions of Creator/{{Shakespeare}}'s plays are annotated in some fashion.
** Creator/IanMcKellen published an Annotated edition of his screenplay for the 1995 film adaptation of ''Theatre/RichardIII'', and it's an invaluable look at the process of adapting Shakespeare to the screen. It's also available for free reading on his [[http://www.mckellen.com/cinema/richard/screenplay/index.htm website]].
* ''The Annotated Literature/SherlockHolmes'' is a two volume omnibus of all of Creator/ArthurConanDoyle's Holmes stories, in best-guess chronological order, with lots of annotations.
* ''TwoGentlemenOfLebowski'''s first printing was an annotated edition, to keep up the pretense of it being an [[InTheStyleOf authentic reprint of a Shakespeare play]]. (To be fair, the author did such a good job keeping the linguistics authentic that a fair number of the annotations are necessary to follow the piece.)
* The classic long-form poem ''Literature/TheRimeOfTheAncientMariner'' was reprinted twice: once with revised language and once with a "gloss" that explained several things.
* Adolf Hitler's ''Literature/MeinKampf'' is only available legally as an annotated, censored edition in Germany, with entire parts of the original book missing.
* ''Literature/AnneOfGreenGables''. One amusing bit is the annotating author observing that somehow Anne obtained a copy of ''Literature/BenHur'' two years before it was published.
* Many compilations of stories by Creator/HPLovecraft include annotations explaining the historical context or how individual stories fit into the greater CthulhuMythos.
* ''Literature/GulliversTravels'' - dozens of political and literary references entirely opaque to the modern reader (to the point that it's [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotForKids often mistaken for a children's fairy tale]]).
* ''Literature/DonQuixote'': Sancho uses many proverbs and Spanish idioms that get lost in translation. There are also many allusions to chivalrous knights, courtly love and mythology that most people are not even aware of today. Snarky volumes point out the continuity errors.
* Anything by Creator/ThomasHardy - the man peppered his novels with classical allusions.
* ''Literature/ParadiseLost''. It's probably possible without the notes, but boy, does it make life a lot easier.
* "Literature/TheRimeOfTheAncientMariner". The writer himself had to write Cliff Notes so that his friends could understand it.
* ''Creator/IsaacAsimov's Annotated Gilbert and Sullivan'' provides an exhaustive annotation for all 14 Creator/GilbertAndSullivan operettas, including the three that nobody remembers anymore. Many of Gilbert's allusions are either particularly British or particularly Victorian, and Gilbert used the full range of the English language vocabulary as well as occasional terms from other languages. All of this provides rich annotation fodder.
* Creator/TSEliot provided some endnotes of his own for his poem "Literature/TheWasteLand"; the poem includes untranslated quotes from various sources. Unfortunately, the endnotes are sometimes almost as obscure as the poem itself.
* ''Literature/RomanceOfTheThreeKingdoms'': Translations are often loaded with annotations explaining all sorts of aspects of ancient Chinese culture, from date conversions to the characters' frequent references to earlier historical characters, as well as notable places where the most commonly read version of the text was significantly changed from the original. One edition has over 100 pages of endnotes, but it is [[DoorStopper an over 2000 page long novel]].
* Sometimes, non-Western literature, especially translated versions of Japanese literature/light novels such as ''Anime/WelcomeToTheNHK'' have endnotes to explain even contemporary references which may seem obvious to a Japanese person if they are rooted in the context of the novel, but a Western person like an American or a different English speaking person might miss. ADV comics, notably, is extremely enthusiastic with the footnoting. One time spending an entire page of text to explain how their translation of a single made-up Japanese word in their translation of ''Tsubasa''.
* The edition of Samuel Pepys's ''[[Literature/TheDiaryOfSamuelPepys Diary]]'' has so many endnotes they take up an entire volume, with another volume of general reference.
* ''Literature/{{Lolita}}''--not because it was written particularly long ago, but because it's packed with allusions and sneaky wordplay.
* The ''{{Flashman}}'' series has this as well. The annotations play with the LiteraryAgentHypothesis, and as well as explaining the various allusions and Victorian pop-culture references, point out [[HandWave occasions on which the eponymous character must have been mistaken, or exaggerated for effect]].
* Creator/JaneAusten's works are available as annotated editions, which won't be necessary for modern audiences to understand the basic storylines, but certainly will help with understanding all the social criticism that went into her works.
* An annotated version of ''Franchise/StarWars'': ''[[Literature/TheThrawnTrilogy Heir to the Empire]]'' was released for the book's [[MilestoneCelebration 20th anniversary]].
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[[folder:Webcomic Collections]]
* ''BobAndGeorge'' has the [[http://www.bobandgeorge.com/archives/000401c on-site commentary]], which currently goes up to March 18th, 2005.
* The printed collections of ''PennyArcade'' have text commentary.
* ''{{Narbonic}}'' is a special case, in that it's available in a ''separate'' annotated edition, which came after the "vanilla" release was completed.
* ''Webcomic/QueenOfWands'' did rapid-fire annotated reruns after the comic was completed.
* InUniverse example: [[http://markrosewater.tumblr.com/post/11993290182 This]] ''Webcomic/TalesFromThePit'' comic is an annotated version of the previous comic.
* David Willis adorns every page of his ''Webcomic/{{Shortpacked}}'' collections with annotations, and scatters them sporadically about the {{Walkyverse}} collections.
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