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Shakespeare's First Folio: Four Centuries of an Iconic Book Hardcover – 24 Mar 2016

4.5 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Frequently bought together

  • Shakespeare's First Folio: Four Centuries of an Iconic Book
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  • The Making of Shakespeare's First Folio
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  • The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare's First Folio (Cambridge Companions to Literature)
Total price: £51.25
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; First Edition edition (24 Mar. 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198754361
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198754367
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 2.8 x 14.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 513,200 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


[A] compassionate biography... a wonderful testimony to the 'worlds most expensive book' and the readers who keep it that way. (Charlotte Scott, Shakespeare Survey)

This book is a very good read, a largely anecdotal but always entertaining account of copies of the Shakespeare First Folio (henceforth FF) from their production in 1623 to the present ... the pleasure and instruction this book will bring to the casual bibliophile or the Shakespeare enthusiast. (Alan H. Nelson, Renaissance Quarterly)

Her diligence in considering every aspect of the Folio's material existence is commendable. (Brian Vickers, Times Literary Supplement)

Smith's second book, Shakespeare's First Folio: Four Centuries of an Iconic Book, picks up where The Making of Shakespeare's First Folio leaves off, tracing different ways of interacting with the Folio ― owning, reading, forging, acting, collecting, and studying ― from the seventeenth century to our own time, and from Europe and America to Africa and Asia. (Kevin Curran, Studies in English Literature 1500-1900)

a fascinating and provocative book (Daniel Swift, Spectator)

delightful (Jerry Brotton, The Daily Telegraph)

This is a beautifully judged book about books, impeccably researched yet wry and affectionate (Jerry Brotton, Financial Times)

a charming, enlightening account, not so much of the origins, as of the fortunes over the years subsequently, of the great edition (David Sexton, Evening Standard)

Smith's account of the Folio's distinguished career is very nicely written and consistently entertaining and informative ... It is the modern equivalent of a magic book, and Smith's own book does justice to that magic. (Times Higher Education)

Emma Smith's book comes as a welcome corrective to the fascination with Shakespeare the man ... as it is the "biography" of something far more interesting: a book. (Stuart Kelly, Independent i)

About the Author

Emma Smith teaches at Hertford College, Oxford, and has published and lectured widely on Shakespeare and his contemporaries, and on the reception of Shakespeare.

16 customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

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31 October 2016
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