First Folio Exhibit Opens at UConn

By Kenneth Best for UConn Today

Earlier this year when a previously unknown first edition of the collected works of William Shakespeare was discovered in Scotland, the extensive media coverage demonstrated why the book known as “The First Folio” is so revered. With no known copies of Shakespeare’s plays written in his own hand, the Folio is the most direct link to the Bard of Avon, who continues to tower unchallenged above all writers in the English language.

The exhibition of one of the 233 remaining copies of the Folio, “First Folio! The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare,” will be on display at the William Benton Museum of Art at UConn from Sept. 1 to 25.

The traveling exhibition is stopping at just one institution in each of the 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. The tour is a partnership between The Folger Shakespeare Library, Cincinnati Museum Center, and the American Library Association.

The First Folio is the first collected edition of 36 Shakespeare plays published by two of his fellow actors in 1623, seven years after the Bard’s death on April 23. The collection includes 18 plays that would otherwise have been lost, including “Macbeth,” Julius Caesar,” “Twelfth Night,” “The Tempest,” “Antony and Cleopatra,” “The Comedy of Errors,” and “As You Like It.”

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