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The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare's First Folio

Part of Cambridge Companions to Literature

Emma Smith, Tara L. Lyons, Eric Rasmussen, B. D. R. Higgins, Chris Laoutaris, Gabriel Egan, Peter Kirwan, Jean-Christophe Mayer, Edmund G. C. King, Steven K. Galbraith, Sarah Werner, Adam G. Hooks
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  • Date Published: August 2016
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107098787


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About the Authors
  • Shakespeare's First Folio, published in 1623, is one of the world's most studied books, prompting speculation about everything from proof-reading practices in the early modern publishing industry to the 'true' authorship of Shakespeare's plays. Arguments about the nature of the First Folio are crucial to every modern edition of Shakespeare and thus to every reader or student of the plays. This Companion surveys the critical methods brought to bear on the Folio and equips readers with the tools to understand it and to develop their skills in early modern book culture more generally. A team of international scholars surveys the range of bibliographic, historical and textual material relating to the Folio, its editors, collectors and critical reception. This revealing volume will be of wide interest to scholars of Shakespeare, the history of the book and early modern drama.

    • An accessible and scholarly account of every aspect of one of the most famous books in the English language
    • A team of international scholars bring up-to-date and authoritative scholarship to every aspect of the first collected edition of Shakespeare's plays, the 1623 First Folio
    • Chapters include work on the printing and publishing process, the prefatory material, the nature of the texts printed, early readers, and the histories of editing and collecting the Folio
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… takes the reader on a journey through the history of perhaps the book world's most famous literary edition. … Readers of The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare's First Folio are lucky. Not only because they have in their hands an excellent resource that will elucidate many aspects of the edition, but also because modern digital renderings of the First Folio are now more accessible than ever.' William J. Humphries, The Seventeenth Century

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2016
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107098787
    • length: 216 pages
    • dimensions: 240 x 152 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.43kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Preface Emma Smith
    1. Shakespeare in print before 1623 Tara L. Lyons
    2. Publishing the First Folio Eric Rasmussen
    3. Printing the First Folio B. D. R. Higgins
    4. The prefatorial material Chris Laoutaris
    5. The provenance of the Folio texts Gabriel Egan
    6. 'Complete' works: the Folio and all of Shakespeare Peter Kirwan
    7. Early buyers and readers Jean-Christophe Mayer
    8. Editors Edmund G. C. King
    9. Collectors Steven K. Galbraith
    10. Reading the First Folio Emma Smith
    11. Digital First Folios Sarah Werner
    12. Afterword: the Folio as fetish Adam G. Hooks.

  • Editor

    Emma Smith, University of Oxford
    Emma Smith is Professor of Shakespeare Studies at the University of Oxford. She has lectured widely in the UK and beyond on the First Folio and on Shakespeare and early modern drama. Her research interests include the methodology of writing about theatre, and developing analogies between cinema, film theory and early modern performance. Her recent publications include Macbeth: Language and Writing (2013), The Cambridge Shakespeare Guide (Cambridge, 2012) and Shakespeare's First Folio: Four Centuries of an Iconic Book (2016).


    Emma Smith, Tara L. Lyons, Eric Rasmussen, B. D. R. Higgins, Chris Laoutaris, Gabriel Egan, Peter Kirwan, Jean-Christophe Mayer, Edmund G. C. King, Steven K. Galbraith, Sarah Werner, Adam G. Hooks

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