Shakespeare’s Book: The Intertwined Lives Behind the First Folio (Paperback)
  • Shakespeare’s Book: The Intertwined Lives Behind the First Folio (Paperback)
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Shakespeare’s Book: The Intertwined Lives Behind the First Folio (Paperback)

(author)
£12.99
Paperback 560 Pages
Published: 14/03/2024
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‘A lively picture of multiple operators scrambling to steal a march on the competition . . . Lavishly detailed’
FINANCIAL TIMES

‘This is Shakespearean scholarship at its best, brilliantly researched yet compulsively readable. It's a book for our times, enduringly fascinating and appealing to both enthusiasts and the general reader. Highly recommended!’ ALISON WEIR

FINANCIAL TIMES BOOK OF THE SUMMER

A BBC HISTORY MAGAZINE BOOK OF THE YEAR 2023

A BBC RADIO 4 FRONT ROW NON-FICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR 2023

AN AUSTRALIAN BOOK REVIEW BOOK OF THE YEAR 2023

The year 2023 marks the 400th anniversary of Mr William Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies, known today simply as the First Folio. It is difficult to imagine a world without The Tempest, Twelfth Night, Antony and Cleopatra, The Winter’s Tale and Macbeth, but these are just some of the plays that were only preserved thanks to the astounding labour of love that went into creating the first collection.

Shakespeare’s Book: The Intertwined Lives Behind the First Folio charts, for the first time, the manufacture of the First Folio against a turbulent backdrop of seismic political events and international tensions that intersected with the lives of its creators. Shakespeare scholar Dr Chris Laoutaris uncovers the friendships, bonds, social ties and professional networks that facilitated the production of Shakespeare ’ s book, as well as the personal challenges, tragedies and dangers that threatened its completion. And he considers how Shakespeare himself, before his death, may have influenced the ways in which his own public identity would come to be enshrined in the First Folio, shaping the transmission of his legacy to future generations and determining how the world would remember him ‘not of an age, but for all time’.

‘Beautifully written and utterly compelling… comprises all the drama, intrigue and surprises of a Shakespeare play' Tracy Borman

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
ISBN: 9780008238414
Number of pages: 560
Weight: 500 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 45 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

PRAISE FOR SHAKESPEARE’S BOOK ‘A superb evocation of the places, personalities and networks that helped turn the words of William Shakespeare into secular scripture. A brilliant, sinewy, deeply immersive read from a fine scholar and storyteller’ Jessie Childs, bestselling author of The Siege of Loyalty House '[A] significant offering… his mission is admirable: to trace every major step in the collective enterprise, starting from the death of the leading Shakespearean actor Richard Burbage in 1619, which served as a melancholy spur… to collate the Bard's works for posterity… [T]he necessary drama is there' Daily Telegraph ‘Laoutaris’s history of the interlinked careers behind the Folio scheme, brings that network to life . . . His resourceful sleuthing ties the Folio’s birth to the politics of its time’ Economist 'Like Shakespeare's plays, Laoutaris's book revolves around detailed interpersonal relationships. From his pages you will learn about the lives of Heminges and Condell… and many others… trestfy[ing] to the thoroughness of the author's research’ Washington Post 'A must read for anyone with even a slight passing fancy for Shakespeare . . . To say this is a book to be read and reread, and have a place on the library shelf, would be a major understatement’ Judith Reveal, New York Journal of Books ‘[A] brilliant new study of the Folio’s genesis … genuinely thrilling. Shakespeare’s Book offers both wonderful vignettes of Shakespeare’s world and tantalising solutions to long-standing mysteries. Laoutaris compellingly recreates the vital collaborations – and rivalries – behind the printing of ‘Shakespeare’s Book’’ The Tablet ‘Intricately woven, vividly depicted and groundbreaking’ Dr Paul Edmondson of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

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