ATG Quirkies: Shakespeare? At the Frankfurt Book Fair in 1622?

Shakespeare's First Folio via Wikimedia Commons

Shakespeare’s First Folio via Wikimedia Commons

Anyone interested in the history of books and publishing will be fascinated to learn how the Frankfurt Book Fair helped launch Shakespeare.

At least that’s the claim of  Dennis Abrams, contributing editor for Publishing Perspectives. Citing Andreas Mays in her book The Millionaire and The Bard: Henry Folger’s Obsessive Hunt for Shakespeare’s First Folio, Mr Abrams notes that the 1622 Catalog for the Frankfurt Book Fair “contained this modest announcement: ‘Playes, written by M. William Shakespeare, all in one volume, printed by Isaack Isaggard, in fol.’ with an estimated publication date between April and October of 1622.”

And that’s a pretty big deal when you consider that without the publication and sale of the First Folio, “eighteen of the plays, including such undisputed masterpieces as Macbeth, Measure for Measure, Antony and Cleopatra, Julius Caesar, Twelfth Night, and The Tempest would have disappeared.”

Thanks, as always, to John Riley of Gabriel Books for providing ATG Quirkies!

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