Re-discovery of Shakespeare First Folio

By Maria Martens Serrano - Monday, April 11, 2016
Re-discovery of Shakespeare First Folio

An original copy of William Shakespeare’s First Folio has been discovered in a Scottish island. Published in 1623, seven years after the playwright’s death, this was the first attempt to compile Shakespeare’s works into one publication.

Re-discovery of Shakespeare First Folio

An original copy of William Shakespeare’s First Folio has been discovered in a Scottish island. Published in 1623, seven years after the playwright’s death, this was the first attempt to compile Shakespeare’s works into one publication.

During his own lifetime, few of Shakespeare’s works made their way to print. It was not considered necessary, during Elizabethan times, to provide the public with a play on paper: plays were performed on stage, and often even the theater company had but one written copy of the work. The publication of the First Folio, therefore, also marks a shift towards the growing appreciation of plays as reading material. 

This re-discovered copy, in particular, sat in the library of Mount Stuart on the Island of Bute for over 100 years. It has now been verified as genuine, bringing the list of existing copies to 234. Although the number of existing copies is quite large in comparison to other rare items, First Folio copies have nonetheless fetched over £3m at auction, which goes to show that the value of Shakespeare has only grown, and will most likely continue to grow.

The discovery could not have come at a more appropriate time, for this year sees the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death (on April 23). This discovery serves to remind us, therefore, that without the publication of the First Folio, many of Shakespeare’s words may have been lost to history. 

Source

Maria Martens Serrano is a Dutch-Salvadoran writer. She studied under a liberal arts program at University College Utrecht, going on to graduate with an MSc in Sociology from the University of Amsterdam. Exploring a broad range of interests, Maria previously worked with a news website and a human rights NGO, before becoming involved with several art fairs in the Netherlands. She now writes on topics of arts and culture. In early 2015 Maria joined the team of Artdependence Magazine as editor and contributor.

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Museo Jumex (a private art collection based in Mexico City, Mexico) / David Chipperfield. Image © Simon Menges

Museo Jumex (a private art collection based in Mexico City, Mexico) / David Chipperfield. Image © Simon Menges

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