Tuesday, August 18, 2009



The picture here is Depoe Bay, taken from the sidewalk above the entry to the bay.

I am reading, and enjoying thoroughly, The Book of William: How Shakespeare's First Folio Conquered the World by Paul Collins.

The First Folio is the first written record of Shakespeare's plays, put together some time after his death. The First Folio contains these plays:


The Tempest
Two Gentlemen of Verona
Measure for Measure
The Comedy of Errors
As You Like It
12th Night
The Winter's Tale


The Third Parte of Henry the sixt
Henry the Eight
Timon of Athens
Julius Ceasar


Athonie and Cleopatra

The spelling here is as it appears on the First Folio.

Notice a few big absences from this list?

Folio is how the paper is folded. In a folio the paper is folded just once to become a folio.

A Folio is the size of large phonebook but looks like a tabloid newspaper, with facing pages.

A Quarto is folded twice to make it appear in four pages. Remember in Shakespeare in Love when Shakespeare gives a copy of Romeo and Juliet (started out as Romeo and Ethel...) to his new lover. She opens it twice, looking at a quatro version of his new play.

The book travels between the present, where the First Folio is up for auction and sells for 2.5 million pounds. The same First Folio sold for 4 shillings in the 17th century.

I like the way the author moves between the current time and the 18th century (Shakespeare died in 1616, early in the 17th century). In London and in Stafford, he walks the path today and imagines what it was like at different times in the past.

I like books on Shakespeare because I took a year of Shakespeare in college, reading all of his plays and most of his sonnets during that year. I love to read Shakespeare and also see it performed in Ashland. I recall the first Shakespeare play we saw was Henry the Fifth. The Tudors like the big history plays so Shakespeare lauds Henry in this very long play. I looked over at the 3 women that went with us, my wife at the time, and my two friends wives: they we all fast asleep by the fifth act. I must admit this play is quite boring.

I have the complete works of Shakespeare on my Kindle. It was free on the Amazon Kindle site. I did read Julius Ceasar and Romeo and Juliet during the last few months. Like I said I like the way Shakespeare writes.

He also gave us about 50 new words in our English language from some of his plays. We can thank him for such words as:

rant (one of my favorite words)

The list goes to almost 100 words.

Hope you enjoy your week as it gets warmer for a change.


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