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Shakespeare's First FolioFour Centuries of an Iconic Book$
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Emma Smith

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198754367

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198754367.001.0001

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(p.281) Chapter 5 Perfecting
Shakespeare's First Folio

Emma Smith

Oxford University Press

Described on its titlepage as being published from ‘True Originall Copies’, the Folio has always been associated with questions about authenticity and reproduction. This chapter traces the many ways owners have tried to perfect their copies, through binding, annotation, cleaning, adding leaves from other copies. It also traces the history of facsimile reproduction from the earliest pen-facimiles to digital surrogates, identifying the ways in which these have served to reify the First Folio as a stable object, even as they undermine its claims to integrity and originality. The movement to record the individuality of each copy coincides with the development of various technologies to present a singular substitute. The Droeshout engraving has been a particular focus of reproductive energy.

Keywords:   Droeshout, facsimile, Harris, John, binding, perfecting, catalogue, copy-specific information

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