The Site’s Building Books
Mr. William Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies (known these days as ‘The First Folio’).
The Munro First Folio (Rasmussen and West Catalogue no. 231) is the copy used to accompany the audio on this site. It is currently on permanent loan to Shakespeare’s Globe on Bankside. The rebuilt theatres (Shakespeare’s Globe and the indoor candlelit Sam Wanamaker Playhouse) for which the plays were written are well worth visiting in person.
Charles Clement Walker
John Heminge and Henry Condell, Friends and Fellow-Actors of Shakespeare and what the World owes them.
Walker, a Victorian industrialist, funded the monument to Heminge and Condell on Love Lane in the City of London, close to the graveyard where they were buried. The book was published to accompany the monument’s unveiling.
R. Compton Rhodes
Shakespeare’s First Folio
A book that champions the integrity, honesty and reliability of Heminge and Condell, both close personal friends and colleagues of Shakespeare. Inspired by and dedicated to A.W. Pollard.
Introduction by A.W. Pollard
British Museum Guide to the Manuscripts & Printed books exhibited in celebration of the First Folio of Shakespeare
A comprehensive 77-page guide to the 285 exhibits that were displayed at the British Museum to celebrate the Folio’s 300th birthday in 1923. The exhibition included four First Folios, four later Folios and over 50 (various edition) early Quartos (single plays in pocket size), together with extensive source material.
Edward E. Willoughby
The Printing of the First Folio of Shakespeare
A detailed examination of the actual printing of the First Folio, including typographical practices, compositing and proof-reading.
Edward E. Willoughby
A Printer of Shakespeare: The Books and Times of William Jaggard
A thorough biography of William Jaggard and an attempt to portray him in a kinder light than others have, including Shakespeare!
The Shakespeare First Folio
An in-depth look at the different kinds of ‘sources’ used in the creation of the First Folio. It also discusses the planning, copyright, editing and actual printing.
Jost Amman and Hans Sachs
The Book of Trades
First published in 1568, the woodcut illustrations in this book show the reader many of the trades ‘in action’ during the sixteenth century. The style and content of these images provided inspiration for the woodcut-style scraperboard illustrations on this website.
‘They gave us Shakespeare’
A touching tribute to the two men that ‘gave’ us Shakespeare, John Heminge and Hendry Condell, from a school-master in Kent.
Peter W.M. Blayney
The First Folio of Shakespeare
A well-illustrated guide to all aspects of the First Folio, written with clarity and brevity, including a section on the two great collectors, Henry and Emily Folger.
Prepared by Charlton Hinman (with an introduction by Peter Blayney)
The Norton Facsimile: The First Folio of Shakespeare (2nd edition)
A life-size facsimile First Folio, compiled using all the best pages of copies in the Folger Shakespeare Library, with a clear and comprehensive introduction.
All things Shakespeare: A Concise Encyclopaedia of Shakespeare’s World
From A (alehouse) to W (writing) and everything in-between, this is a vivid an evocative recreation of the sixteenth century world.
Sotheby’s Auction House
The Shakespeare First Folio 1623: The Dr. William’s Library Copy
Beautifully illustrated with an introduction from Stanley Wells.
The Book of William: How Shakespeare’s First Folio conquered the world
Told in five acts, each broken down into various scenes, Collins takes us on a free-roaming tour through London then (including the Kit-Kat club) and now, Kent (the home of Folio Census-taker, Anthony James West), Washington DC, and Meisei in Japan.
The Shakespeare Thefts: In Search of the First Folios
Rasmussen, a renowned ‘Folio-hunter’, Shakespearean academic and census cataloguer, shares highly entertaining tales of theft, fraud and obsession in relation to the journey of the First Folio through the world.
Edited by Owen Williams with Cary Lazzuri
Foliomania! Stories Behind Shakespeare’s Most Important Book
A beautifully illustrated book in typical Folio size, covers all aspects of the First Folio and the Folger Shakespeare Library, with an introduction by Anthony James West.
Edited by Paul Edmondson & Stanley Wells
The Shakespeare Circle: An Alternative Biography
An illuminating collection of essays covering Shakespeare’s family, neighbours, colleagues (including Heminge and Condell) and patrons.
The Making of Shakespeare’s First Folio
A comprehensive, enjoyable and well-illustrated book that tells the human, artistic, economic and technical stories of the First Folio’s birth in 1623.
The Millionaire and The Bard: Henry Folger’s Obsessive Hunt for Shakespeare’s Fist Folio
The compelling story of Henry Folger and his wife Emily, and their obsession with Shakespeare’s First Folio.
Edited by Emma Smith
The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare’s First Folio
A comprehensive collection of essays covering Shakespeare in print from pre-First-Folio single-play (quarto) editions to freely available Digital Folios, and all aspects of publishing the First Folio.
Shakespeare’s First Folio: Four Centuries of an Iconic Book
This book looks at owning, reading, decoding, performing and perfecting Shakespeare’s First Folio over the last 400 years.
The Book of Will
An enchanting play that tells the story of how Heminge and Condell managed to put 36 plays together in one edition.
Christie’s Auction House
Shakespeare: The First Folio
A highly illustrated catalogue for the Mills College First Folio, a ‘complete’ copy that has all 454 original leaves, which sold at auction for nearly $10 million on 14th October 2020.
The Shakespeare First Folio Censuses
Rev. T.F. Dibdin
The Library Companion, or The Young Man’s Guide and The Old Man’s Comfort in the Choice of a Library
This charming and rambling guide on how to stock a library from scratch, includes the first census and grading of Shakespeare’s First Folios, albeit a claim to have tracked down only 30 of them (page 809 Volume 2).
Sir Sidney Lee
Census of The Shakespeare First Folio (a supplement to the Oxford Facsimile of The Shakespeare First Folio)
A tireless search for all extant copies of the First Folio. 158 were discovered.
Sir Sidney Lee
Notes & Additions to the Census of Copies of The Shakespeare First Folio
Includes the additional 14 First Folios which Lee discovered following the publication of his 1902 work, taking his total to 172.
Anthony James West
The Shakespeare First Folio: The History of the Book (Volume 2: A New Worldwide Census of First Folios)
This famous ‘Folio-hunter’ spent five years tracking down copies. The number grew to an impressive 230.
Eric Rasmussen & Anthony James West
The Shakespeare First Folios: A Descriptive Catalogue
An encyclopedia of all known First Folios in 2012, where they are, and detailed information about their condition and history. The extant number grew by two to 232.
Edited by Adam G. Hooks & Zachary Lesser
This comprehensive website attempts to locate and describe every extant copy of all editions of Shakespeare’s works through to 1700, including The First Folio, counting 228 complete and 151 fragments.