2023 marks 400 years since the publication of the first collected edition of Shakespeare’s plays, the book now revered as the First Folio. This talk introduces what’s significant about this book, and what copies—including the one at Penn—can tell us about the way it was put together, and the uses to which it has been put over the last four centuries. Co-sponsored by the Workshop in the History of Material Texts, Wolf Humanities Center, Department of English, and Center for Research in Feminist, Queer, and Transgender Studies.
Emma Smith is Professor of Shakespeare Studies at Hertford College, University of Oxford, and the author of two books, on the making and on the afterlives, of the First Folio. She is the 2023 Sam Wanamaker Fellow at Shakespeare’s Globe, an associate scholar with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and is currently working on an edition of Twelfth Night for the Arden Shakespeare series.