Friday, November 27, 2009

The Book of William: MicroReview

Collins, Paul. The Book of William: How Shakespeare's First Folio Conquered the World. New York: Bloomsbury, 2009. Print.

As you shop for the Shakespearean on your list, don't neglect this book. It's a well-written, more-popular-than-scholarly account of the history of the First Folio. I tend to like to dwell in the footnotes—I read Shakespeare, for the most part, in the Arden editions, rich in scholarly footnotes. The Book of William isn't scholarly like that, but it still manages to satisfy my desire for scholarship even while it tells more of a narrative.

The book also reminded me of a number of things that I had forgotten—that, due to the 1666 fire of London, the third Folio is even rarer than the first (53), and what the relationships between Shakespeare's earliest editors (most notably, Rowe, Pope, Theobald, and Johnson) was (59ff), and how Shakespeare began to be published in extensive and cheap print runs (85-86).

If you're a Shakespeare lover, you can unobtrusively forward this URL to your friends and family—they'll know what to do from there!

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Bardfilm is normally written as one word, though it can also be found under a search for "Bard Film Blog." Bardfilm is a Shakespeare blog (admittedly, one of many Shakespeare blogs), and it is dedicated to commentary on films (Shakespeare movies, The Shakespeare Movie, Shakespeare on television, Shakespeare at the cinema), plays, and other matter related to Shakespeare (allusions to Shakespeare in pop culture, quotes from Shakespeare in popular culture, quotations that come from Shakespeare, et cetera).

Unless otherwise indicated, quotations from Shakespeare's works are from the following edition:
Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
All material original to this blog is copyrighted: Copyright 2008-2039 (and into perpetuity thereafter) by Keith Jones.

The very instant that I saw you did / My heart fly to your service; there resides, / To make me slave to it; and, for your sake, / Am I this patient [b]log-man.

—The Tempest