Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Shakespeare's First Folio: Four Centuries of an Iconic Book” as Want to Read:
Shakespeare's First Folio: Four Centuries of an Iconic Book
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Shakespeare's First Folio: Four Centuries of an Iconic Book

4.2  ·  Rating details ·  30 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
This is a biography of a book: the first collected edition of Shakespeare's plays printed in 1623 and known as the First Folio. It begins with the story of its first purchaser in London in December 1623, and goes on to explore the ways people have interacted with this iconic book over the four hundred years of its history. Throughout the stress is on what we can learn from ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published June 15th 2016 by Oxford University Press, USA
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Shakespeare's First Folio, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Shakespeare's First Folio

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Ed
Jun 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: shakespeare
Emma Smith examines the reception of the first collected edition of William Shakespeare’s plays (36 in total) as a physical object as well as literary text. Her book is a history of the first Folio as a thing-in-itself, the book as a cultural object, an artifact of its time and place of production and also something of significant value even though it is not a particularly rare book.

She illuminates the “contexts” out of which it was created, explaining the theatrical practices that influenced th
...more
Emma Townshend
Apr 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a brilliant, enjoyable though certainly academic account of the First Folio: the first publication of all Shakespeare's plays in a single huge book, in 1623. Shakespeare's singularity as an author is explored through the singularity of the First Folio, with Smith explaining how it came to occupy such a central and recognisable position within book-collecting, and within our culture as a whole (she's very good in how the First Folio is often evoked during moments of technological innovati ...more
Laura
Apr 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Surpassed all my expectations.

This book took me a long time to read. It's very scholarly (which is not intended to be a criticism in any respect). It was hugely enjoyable to read a book on a subject I find absolutely fascinating, supported so strongly by evidence garnered from a serious amount of research. I wanted to savour it, and so I chose to dip in and out of this book at very quiet moments when I could concentrate. This is not a book I could easily read on a train, or anywhere with distra
...more
Lynn
Nov 30, 2016 rated it liked it
Today's nonfiction post is on Shakespeare's First Folio: Four Centuries of an Iconic Book by Emma Smith. It is 320 pages long and is published by Oxford University Press. The cover is black with the first folio on the bottom opened to Richard the Third. The intended reader is someone very interested in the physical history of the copies of the first folio. There is no foul mild language, no sex, and no violence in this book. There Be Spoilers Ahead.


From the dust jacket- This is a biography of a
...more
Kevin
Mar 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a book about a book. It's described as a biography of a book which seemed odd. Bios means life, and much as I view books as more than thinly sliced trees with some writing on can they really have a life? A biography often has a few pages on the early years of a life, focusing instead on the later years which the reader will more easily identify and understand. The story of a book is more typically before creation - the struggles of writing/producing. Perhaps something of the publicity to ...more
Sae Kitamura
Sep 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most interesting books on the First Folio I have ever read, along with Eric Rasmussen's The Shakespeare Thefts. Emma Smith's analyses on annotations are clear and elaborate, through which we can understand the users' book-related activities. The chapters on performance and facsimiles are also intellectually stimulating.
And I am very happy she referred to my (really boring bibliographical) PhD thesis in this book!
Cindy
Dec 30, 2016 rated it liked it
Probably would have given it 2.5 stars. It has worthwhile information if you're interested in Shakespeare, but I felt it went on a little long and I had to force myself to pick it up near the end.
Mills College Library
822.33 S6467 2016
Mike Jensen
Jul 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I am interviewing the author from my "Talking Books" column in SHAKESPEARE NEWSLETTER, and so do not feel I should comment here other than to say that the book is enormous fun.
Stuart Cole
Nov 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Very readable, covering a lot of ground in a relatively short book. On point and informative.
Glenn Crabtree
rated it liked it
Nov 25, 2017
Sari
rated it really liked it
May 14, 2018
Clare Shepherd
rated it it was amazing
Apr 30, 2018
Andy
rated it it was amazing
Jul 11, 2016
Grace
rated it liked it
Aug 03, 2017
Elliott
rated it it was amazing
Jul 24, 2016
Chloe Lee
rated it really liked it
Nov 08, 2016
Catherine Puma
rated it it was amazing
Jun 17, 2018
Christena Alcorn
rated it liked it
Feb 08, 2017
Eric
rated it really liked it
Mar 14, 2018
Rick
rated it liked it
May 17, 2018
Valerie
rated it really liked it
Nov 23, 2016
Mike Campbell
rated it really liked it
Aug 24, 2016
Uchi Deshi
rated it really liked it
Oct 07, 2017
Christine
rated it it was amazing
Jul 25, 2016
James
rated it it was amazing
Jul 27, 2018
Waylon
rated it really liked it
Oct 23, 2016
Lawrence W. Malito
rated it it was amazing
Feb 27, 2017
K.H.
rated it really liked it
Sep 22, 2017
Rachel
rated it it was ok
Sep 10, 2016
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
1 follower
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.
More about Emma Smith

Nonfiction Deals

  • Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World
    $9.99 $2.99
  • How to Write a Sentence: And How to Read One
    $10.49 $1.99
  • Hidden Figures
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Pocket Prayers: 40 Simple Prayers that Bring Peace and Rest
    $2.99 $0.99
  • Manifest Your Destiny: Nine Spiritual Principles for Getting Ev
    $11.74 $1.99
  • A Three Dog Life
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America's Vietnam
    $14.99 $2.99
  • How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character
    $10.99 $2.99
  • Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill
    $7.99 $2.99
  • Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal: War Stories from the Local Food Front
    $5.99 $1.99
  • My Glory Was I Had Such Friends: A Memoir
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Say Goodbye to Survival Mode: 9 Simple Strategies to Stress Less, Sleep More, and Restore Your Passion for Life
    $6.99 $0.99
  • The War of Art
    $9.99 $1.49
  • Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Other Four-Letter Words
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Abigail and John: Portrait of a Marriage
    $14.99 $1.99
  • The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Casino: Love and Honor in Las Vegas
    $19.99 $2.99
  • The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Taste of Air
    $9.99 $3.49
  • The Lord God Made Them All (All Creatures Great and Small, #4)
    $17.99 $1.99
  • I'd Rather Be Reading: A Library of Art for Book Lovers
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Girl With No Name: The Incredible True Story of a Child Raised by Monkeys
    $17.99 $1.99
  • The World of Lore: Monstrous Creatures
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Newcomers: Finding Refuge, Friendship, and Hope in an American Classroom
    $14.99 $2.99
  • Helmet for My Pillow: From Parris Island to the Pacific
    $10.99 $1.99
  • America's Women: 400 Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates, and Heroines
    $14.99 $1.99
  • The Good Girls Revolt: How the Women of Newsweek Sued their Bosses and Changed the Workplace
    $9.99 $2.99