William Shakespeare, more than any other playwright in history, sustains an ever-expanding cultural relevance and vibrancy that lives on in classrooms, on stages and in every form of media. This is all the more impressive considering 2016 marks the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death.
Emory University has been celebrating a “Year of Shakespeare” with performances, exhibitions and lectures, but the centerpiece will be revealed to the public on Nov. 5. It’s a rare copy of the "First Folio" of Shakespeare’s works – the first collected edition of his plays, published in 1623, seven years after his death. Without this collection, it’s likely that 18 of Shakespeare’s plays would have been lost.
Researchers believe some 750 copies of the “First Folio” were originally printed, with 233 known copies surviving. Of those surviving copies, 82 are housed at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. In an interview with Lois Reitzes on “City Lights,” Emory University English professor and World Shakespeare Project director Dr. Sheila Cavanagh further explained the significance of the upcoming exhibit, as well as her work with the World Shakespeare Project’s mission of creating, sharing and disseminating the works of Shakespeare across cultures through education and innovative technology.
“First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare” will be on display at the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University from Nov. 5 through Dec. 11.