Celebrating 400 years of Shakespeare: Reflecting on the Life of the Bard

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The exhibit Celebrating 400 Years of Shakespeare: Reflecting on the Life of the Bard is now open for viewing! On display are the First (1623), Second (1632), Third (1664) and Fourth (1685) Folios, along with the Poems (1640) of William Shakespeare. Historical, religious, literary and scientific works that potentially influenced Shakespeare’s writing are presented as well. Significant works include Holinshed’s Chronicles, Bibles and the Book of Common Prayer, Plutarch’s Lives, Ben Jonson’s Works, and Foxes’ Acts and Monuments along with others.

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On March 28 the library was fortunate enough to host Emma Smith from Oxford University who gave an interesting and delightful talk “From the Barbican to Buffalo: Why Shakespeare’s First Folio Matters.”  Within this presentation, Emma spoke about an apprentice in the Jaggard print shop who was responsible for many errors and corrections in the First Folio. In particular the young apprentice typeset a very important stage direction toward the end of The Tragedy of King Lear. The line was supposed to read “He dies” yet it took three tries for this compositor/typesetter to get it right! In examining our First Folio after the presentation, we looked at this line with Emma and found our copy was the compositor’s second try as it reads “He dis.” It was not until the third try/state that he set the line to read correctly.

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Information about more upcoming events in and around Buffalo intended to celebrate Shakespeare may be found at the Bvffalo Bard 2016 blog (https://buffalobard.wordpress.com/

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