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Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies: A Facsimile of the First Folio, 1623 Paperback – Facsimile, 21 May 1998


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Product details

  • Paperback: 946 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (21 May 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0878300880
  • ISBN-13: 978-0878300884
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 22.2 x 28.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 961,124 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's preeminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon". His surviving works, including some collaborations, consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.

Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire and was baptised on 26 April 1564. Thought to have been educated at the local grammar school, he married Anne Hathaway, with whom he went on to have three children, at the age of eighteen, before moving to London to work in the theatre. Two erotic poems, Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece were published in 1593 and 1594 and records of his plays begin to appear in 1594 for Richard III and the three parts of Henry VI. Shakespeare's tragic period lasted from around 1600 to 1608, during which period he wrote plays including Hamlet and Othello. The first editions of the sonnets were published in 1609 but evidence suggests that Shakespeare had been writing them for years for a private readership.

Shakespeare spent the last five years of his life in Stratford, by now a wealthy man. He died on 23 April 1616 and was buried in Holy Trinity Church in Stratford. The first collected edition of his works was published in 1623.

(The portrait details: The Chandos portrait, artist and authenticity unconfirmed. NPG1, © National Portrait Gallery, London)

Product Description

About the Author

Doug Moston teaches acting at Yale University and New York University.

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By J. Monk on 18 Oct. 2003
Format: Paperback
This edition is extremely useful to have at home to consult, if you can't afford the Norton facsimile, but it should be treated with great caution and always checked against the Norton. I discovered from a reference in the 'Shakespeare Survey' that it is based on the "Halliwell-Phillips" facsimile of 1876 which contains numerous incorrect and pointless emendations, for example 'Tunne-dish' to the meaningless 'Tunnerdish'(a-23 p.74 in the comedies). For further information see 'Shakespeare Survey',33 (1980)and Charlton Hinman's article about the Halliwell-Phillips folio in 'Shakespeare Quarterly', 5 (1954) It's a bit naughty of Moston not to state the source of his edition.
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 July 2000
Format: Paperback
The textual difficulties presented by Shakespeare's drama has been compounded in the past by the tendancy of modern editors to form what are essentially new plays out of the favourite bits of Foli and Quarto versions of plays such as Hamlet. The Folio presents an opportunity for students to cut through the crap: Hamlet first 'good' quarto (1603) is a totally different play to the Folio version, and an exact comparrison between the two is necessary when making any judgements about 'Hamlet'. Fools such as Gary Taylor, editor of the OUP H5 create new and pointelss plays, which were neither read, nor acted, in the form presented. (Oh, and the Folio, contrary to what it says above, was not an acting edition, and the plays are generally very far from the original authorial 'foul papers').
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 7 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Affordable facsimile - fascinating stuff 23 April 2000
By "lexo-2x" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Assuming that you can't afford a hundred quid for some more elaborately presented facsimilie of the First Folio, this is the one to get. There is some minimal evidence of touching up, but really it's like the arguments about the proper edition of "Ulysses" - fascinating to scholars but barely of interest to anybody else. The First Folio is the most important Shakespearean document, containing as it does the _only_ text of Macbeth, amongst many other marvels, and if (like me) you work in the theatre it's highly unlikely that you're going to want anything more beautifully put together than this. Highly unlikely, too, that you'll be able to afford anything more elaborate than this. Mr. Moston and his team are to be congratulated. Scholars may quibble but they're only scholars. Get this, and Stephen Greenblatt's Norton Shakespeare, and you'll have all the Will you'll ever need.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
For now, this facsimile will just have to do. 25 Nov. 2000
By Michael J. Connor - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies. Edited by Doug Moston
At present this is the only facsimile edition of the Shakespeare folio available. With its relatively affordable price and availability the Routledge facsimile is an attractive edition of Shakespeare for readers, but there are short comings to this facsimile.
This is a reprint of a facsimile, and the one chosen, though interesting in many ways has a distinct disadvantage. The Routledge reprint is made from Halliwell-Phillips's facsimile published in 1887. The Halliwell-Phillips facsimile was a popular edition, not a scholarly one. It is by far the smallest of the facsimile editions of the first folio. The facsimile pages are less than half the size of the original pages. The distortion that previous reviewers have written about is very real. The distortion comes from the process used by Halliwell Phillips, which I believe was photo-lithography and then the reduction of the page size. Here in the Routledge edition those pages are then re-enlarged. This distortion could have been avoided if the full size Staunton facsimile of 1866 or Booth's very accurate print facsimile was the basis of this edition. You should keep this distortion in mind when you read this reprint.
There are unique variants preserved in this facsimile. Of the facsimiles this facsimile is the only one to show a variant from Richard III. There is a line from Richard III (V.3.13) which correctly ends "the adverse faction want." In this facsimile the line ends "the adverse faction went." I also found a variant that I could not find listed any where. On the last page of the Shakespeare folio there is a colophon: "Printed at the charges of W. Jaggard, Ed. Blout, I. Smithweeke, and W. Asply, 1623." This colophon does not appear in this facsimile.
With so many modernized editions of Shakespeare's plays available why would a anyone want to read a facsimile edition? I confess that I have a growing impatience with modern editors and editions of Shakespeare. All too often I am unconvinced by the conclusions modern editors have. All too often when I am suspicious of a line in a play, and when I check the line in a facsimile edition I see that the editor has changed it. I find that I do not have this irritation when I read a facsimile edition rather than a modernized one. If you are looking for an authoritative edition of Shakespeare's plays as they appeared in the first folio this facsimile fills the bill.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
An affordable, readable resource for thespians 1 Jun. 1999
By Tal Carawan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
It is refreshing to see the original folio, free of interferring editing. It takes some getting used to, but for it's price, it is a worthy addition to any classical actor, director, or scribe's collection. Highly reccommended for those who have another, standard collection, such as Riverside or Norton. Whenever there is a disagreement amongh various texts, it is usually answered by consulting this volume. It also gives one more "feel" for the time period in which the work was produced.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
An Outstanding Affordable 1st Folio for Actors! 9 July 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I recently worked on a production of The Taming of the Shrew, and the cast and director used First Folio text. While a few used the Norton Facsimile, most of us were not able to spend $150 for our scripts. The Routledge Folio was the script of choice. It was created with the actor in mind, and this actor found her job eminently easier as a result of the clear introduction, and the new line numbering system which saved time for all of us. I now prepare all my auditions with this Folio. The only problem I have with it is that I'm always asked by friends and colleagues to borrow it, something I'm always hesitant to do. I love this edition because it simply allows me to access and act Shakespeare better. Thank you Routledge for Stanislavsky's books and Shakespeare's First Folio, and thank you Prof. Moston for your illuminating introduction and glossary.
L. Stenner, New York, NY
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
A must have for any actor! 7 Dec. 1999
By W. Kevin Stevens - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are involved in theatre in any way this is the Shakespeare book to have. Unknown to the common person, the Shakespeare paperback you go and buy at any store, even here, has been edited! This is Shakespeare's complete works as a playwright in the closest form to Mr. Shakespeare's own hand. It was compiled by 2 actors that worked with Shakespeare when he was alive so they knew what they were doing. Because there were no directors in Shakespeare's time, Shakespeare had to direct through the text itself. By editing from this folio, history has erased valuable information Shakespeare wanted his actor's to have. The introduction is amazing! Doug Moston is the only expert on Shakespeare when it comes to acting.
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