The printing of the Folio was probably done between February and early November It is possible that the printer originally expected to have the book ready early, since it was listed in the Frankfurt Book Fair catalogue as a book to appear between April and October , but the catalogue contained many books not yet printed by , and the modern consensus is that the entry was simply intended as advance publicity.
The 36 plays of the First Folio occur in the order given below; plays that had never been published before are marked with an asterisk. Each play is followed by the type of source used, as determined by bibliographical research. The term foul papers refers to Shakespeare's working drafts of a play. When completed, a transcript or fair copy of the foul papers would be prepared, by the author or by a scribe. Such a manuscript would have to be heavily annotated with accurate and detailed stage directions and all the other data needed for performance, and then could serve as a prompt book , to be used by the prompter to guide a performance of the play.
Any of these manuscripts, in any combination, could be used as a source for a printed text. The label Q n denotes the n th quarto edition of a play. Troilus and Cressida was originally intended to follow Romeo and Juliet , but the typesetting was stopped, probably due to a conflict over the rights to the play; it was later inserted as the first of the tragedies, when the rights question was resolved.
It does not appear in the table of contents. Ben Jonson wrote a preface to the folio with this poem facing the Droeshout portrait :.
As far as modern scholarship has been able to determine,  the First Folio texts were set into type by five compositors, with different spelling habits, peculiarities, and levels of competence. Researchers have labelled them A through E, A being the most accurate, and E an apprentice who had significant difficulties in dealing with manuscript copy. Their shares in typesetting the pages of the Folio break down like this:.
First Folio By Scott Evans
Compositor "E" was most likely one John Leason, whose apprenticeship contract dated only from 4 November One of the other four might have been a John Shakespeare, of Warwickshire , who apprenticed with Jaggard in — Greg has argued that Edward Knight , the "book-keeper" or "book-holder" prompter of the King's Men , did the actual proofreading of the manuscript sources for the First Folio.
Knight is known to have been responsible for maintaining and annotating the company's scripts, and making sure that the company complied with cuts and changes ordered by the Master of the Revels. Some pages of the First Folio — out of the total of — were proofread and corrected while the job of printing the book was ongoing.
As a result, the Folio differs from modern books in that individual copies vary considerably in their typographical errors. There were about corrections made to the Folio in this way. The well-known cruxes in the First Folio texts were beyond the typesetters' capacity to correct.
The Folio was typeset and bound in "sixes" — 3 sheets of paper, taken together, were folded into a booklet-like quire or gathering of 6 leaves, 12 pages. Once printed, the "sixes" were assembled and bound together to make the book. The sheets were printed in 2-page formes, meaning that pages 1 and 12 of the first quire were printed simultaneously on one side of one sheet of paper which became the "outer" side ; then pages 2 and 11 were printed on the other side of the same sheet the "inner" side.
The same was done with pages 3 and 10, and 4 and 9, on the second sheet, and pages 5 and 8, and 6 and 7, on the third. Then the first quire could be assembled with its pages in the correct order. The next quire was printed by the same method: pages 13 and 24 on one side of one sheet, etc. This meant that the text being printed had to be "cast off" — the compositors had to plan beforehand how much text would fit onto each page. If the compositors were setting type from manuscripts perhaps messy, revised and corrected manuscripts , their calculations would frequently be off by greater or lesser amounts, resulting in the need to expand or compress.
A line of verse could be printed as two; or verse could be printed as prose to save space, or lines and passages could even be omitted a disturbing prospect for those who prize Shakespeare's works. It is believed that around copies of the First Folio were printed, of which there are known surviving copies. Another collection 12 copies is held at Meisei University in Tokyo , including the Meisei Copy coded MR , said to be unique because of annotations by its reader. To commemorate the th anniversary of Shakespeare's death in , the Folger Shakespeare Library toured some of its 82 First Folios for display in all 50 U.
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This copy is one of only about 40 remaining complete copies most of the existing copies are incomplete ; only one other copy of the book remains in private ownership. On 11 July , it was reported that a copy stolen from Durham University , England, in had been recovered after being submitted for valuation at the Folger Shakespeare Library.
In November , a previously unknown First Folio was found in a public library in Saint-Omer , Pas-de-Calais in France , where it had lain for years. In March , Christie's announced that a previously unrecorded copy once owned by 19th-century collector Sir George Augustus Shuckburgh-Evelyn would be auctioned on 25 May From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Further information: Shakespeare's life , funerary monument , reputation , and plays in quarto. Pray tell me Ben, where does the mystery lurk, What others call a play you call a work. Under the Gregorian calendar , adopted in Catholic countries in , Shakespeare died on 3 May. All told, a quarter of the literary folios produced in London between and were the work of these three publishers. Ackroyd, Peter Shakespeare: The Biography. London: Vintage. BBC News.
'There was a fire' involved
Retrieved 2 April Retrieved 3 April Bevington, David Oxford: Blackwell. Chambers, E. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Collins, Paul 17 July Get Shorty. Illustrated by Gary Kelley. Illustrated by La Boca.
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