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First Folio

The text in this edition is based on the 1623 First Folio, the first and original Complete Works lovingly assembled by Shakespeare's fellow-actors after his death. The First Folio is a literary icon and is the version of Shakespeare's text preferred by many actors and directors, yet no one has edited it in its entirety for over three hundred years.

What is the First Folio?

Watch a series of introductory films presented by Gregory Doran, RSC Artistic Director, Royal Shakespeare Company.

The creation of the first folio | The importance of printing the first folio
First Folio and the company of actors | Not of an age but for all time

With thanks to the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

The Case for the Folio - Jonathan Bate

Read a detailed account for scholars and advanced students of the textual issues and choices facing the Shakespeare editor and a passionate explanation of the approach taken in The RSC Shakespeare.

Editing Shakespeare's Text – Eric Rasmussen

Download a powerpoint presentation and listen to an introductory lecture by Eric Rasmussen which explains what is involved in working closely with early printed copies of Shakespeare's text.