The true story of how the First Folio creators made ‘Shakespeare’
The year 2023 marks the 400th anniversary of Mr William Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies, known today simply as the First Folio. It is difficult to imagine a world without The Tempest, Twelfth Night, Antony and Cleopatra, The Winter’s Tale and Macbeth, but these are just some of the plays that were only preserved thanks to the astounding labour of love that went into creating the first collection.
Shakespeare’s Book: The Intertwined Lives Behind the First Folio charts, for the first time, the manufacture of the First Folio against a turbulent backdrop of seismic political events and international tensions that intersected with the lives of its creators. Shakespeare scholar Dr Chris Laoutaris uncovers the friendships, bonds, social ties and professional networks that facilitated the production of Shakespeare ‘ s book, as well as the personal challenges, tragedies and dangers that threatened its completion. And he considers how Shakespeare himself, before his death, may have influenced the ways in which his own public identity would come to be enshrined in the First Folio, shaping the transmission of his legacy to future generations and determining how the world would remember him ‘not of an age, but for all time’.