400th Anniversary of Shakespeare's First Folio


This year is the 400th anniversary of the publication of 'Mr William Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies' which is commonly known as the First Folio. This publication contains 36 of Shakespeare's plays 18 of which had never previously been published.

Shakespeare's massive output never seems to have been collated into a single publication during his lifetime.He did, however, leave a bequest to his actor friends, John Heminges and Henry Condell, to collate and publish his works, a task which was not completed until about 7 years after his death, in 1623.It is believed that 235 copies of the original print run survive today 82 of which are in the Folger library in Washington DC.

In addition to the play narratives the First Folio contains a list of the principal actors who appeared in the plays chief of which was Shakespeare himself.

Arguably, Shakespeare's plays and other writings underpin and enrich the global reach of the English language to which Shakespeare himself contributed some 1700 words.

Persons wishing to connect with the original theatre atmosphere of Shakespeare's time should consider attending a suitable performance at Shakespeare's Globe in London as illustrated in the image below.

Acknowledgement: The core information herein was sourced from an article in the Times newspaper.


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