When William Shakespeare died in 1616, only half of the 36 plays then attributed to him had been published. Theatrical companies were happy to keep plays out of print since publishing a script gave other companies license to stage rival productions. But two actors, John Heminges and Henry Condell, believed that only a complete and authoritative volume of the plays could serve as a fitting memorial to Shakespeare. They worked from Shakespeare's original manuscripts and theatrical prompt books to arrive at the most authentic version of each play's text.
It is believed around 1,000 copies were finally published in 1623 under the title Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies. Prefaced with commendatory verse from Ben Jonston, amongst others, and Martin Droeshout's famous engraving of Shakespeare, it was the first book of its size to be completely devoted to dramatic works. Around 230 copies survive worldwide.It's impossible to overstate the importance of the First Folio. Without it, 18 plays, including Macbeth, Julius Caesar, Twelfth Night and The Tempest, might never have been published at all, while many more would have survived only as pale imitations of the texts we know today. Any credible modern edition of the plays featured in the'First Folio' uses it as the major source. This limited edition facsimile consists of photographic reproductions of original'First Folio' pages from volumes in the Folger Shakespeare Library. The text is exactly as it was set by Jaggard's compositors, complete with all the idiosyncrasies of 17th-century spelling and typography. Limited to 1000 numbered copies. Extra title page, inscribed with individual number.
Half-bound in wassa goatskin leather, with laid paper sides hand marbled by Ann Muir. Raised banding on the spine, gilded top edge with ribbon marker. Slipcase in buckram and laid paper, blocked with titling based on the original edition.
Book size: 141/4" x 91/2". CONDITION: Book appears UNREAD and in VERY GOOD condition with very light rubbing and marks to the gilt on the top edge (see photos 7, 9, 10, 11 & 12). Slipcase is STURDY and in GOOD condition with shelf wear including rubbing, marks and a bump to the bottom front corner of the right-hand panel (see photos 14, 15, 16 & 17). There is also some staining to the inside of the case from dye of the book boards (see photo 23). Due to the weight of the book Approx.
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