Friday, February 22, 2013

Book Note: The Shakespeare First Folios: A Descriptive Catalogue

Rasmussen, Eric, and Anthony James West, eds. The Shakespeare First Folios: A Descriptive Catalogue. New York: Palgrave Macmillian, 2012.

Among the great works of Shakespearean scholarship must be counted this work. Eric Rasmussen, who, incidentally, wrote The Shakespeare Thefts (for which, q.v.), Anthony James West, and a team of scholars have minutely examined every copy of the First Folio that they could get their hands on.

This volume meticulously reports their findings, including any known details of provenance, any annotations or marginalia, and any damage to the volume. Its detail is astonishing.

The image below (click on it to enlarge it) will give you an idea of the detail. The entry is for Copy 72 in the Folger Shakespeare Library. It's one of the shorter entries, but it will give you a sense of the detail applied to each copy of the First Folio.

And why am I providing information about Folger Copy 72 in particular? For the answer to that, you'll need to be patient.

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1 comment:

e meritus prauf said...

Exciting to be there for the dramatic opening! The National Gallery has three etchings of Rachel Paule (née Clitherow) 1617-1691. Could this be she?

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