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Chris Laoutaris

Shakespeare’s Book: The First Folio

Hay Festival 2023, 

This year marks the 400-year anniversary of the publication of Mr William Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies, known today simply as the First Folio. Arguably the most influential secular book of all time, when it hit bookstalls in 1623 it was a landmark in the history of printing and a costly object, and it has gone on to have an incalculable impact on language, education, publishing, the theatre, tourism and a host of other industries. The Associate Professor of Shakespeare and Early Modern Drama at the University of Birmingham explains who put together the First Folio and why, and how its makers created ‘Shakespeare’ as we know him today. Dr Laoutaris’s talk is based on his book Shakespeare’s Book: The Intertwined Lives Behind the First Folio.

Chris Laoutaris