“The First Folio is a book with a kind of double reputation. On the one hand it has been described as the most important book in the English language next to the King James' Bible: on the other it seems to be so full of spelling mistakes, mis-lineation and doubtful passages that it cannot be trusted. Scholars regard it as an unsafe text: and in fact one has only to leaf through the pages to find evidence of the grossest inconsistency in the way the plays are sub-divided and set out. All this is familiar to many; but since relatively few Shakespeare lovers have ever held a faithful copy of this book in their hands, I will describe it a little. This is to give context to a discovery that has become so clear and certain over the years, and is withal so enchanting that it needs to take courage at last and face its proper audience.”
From the essay: ‘The First Folio Dis-covered’
by Sylvia Eckersley.
For the full essay click here