Wednesday 8 November - Friday 8 December 2023
Weekdays 10am - 4.30pm
Wodehouse Library Archive Exhibition Area, Dulwich College
(Open to Dulwich College staff and students)
The First Folio is one of the great wonders of the literary world.
From Friday 31 March Dulwich College’s First Folio will be on display at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich as part of the National Folio400 Celebrations. Published in 1623, seven years after the death of its author, the First Folio was the first printed edition of Shakespeare’s collected plays and the College Archive has one of the 235 remaining copies.
The two volumes of Comedies and Histories (sadly the Tragedies are missing) contain evidence of possible use in theatrical performances. Handwritten notes, ink and water stains and burn holes suggest these volumes were well-used before they were left to Dulwich College.
Edward Alleyn, actor, philanthropist, impresario and founder of Dulwich College in 1619, worked alongside Shakespeare on Bankside and a note on the back of an envelope reveals he bought a copy of Shakespeare’s sonnets in 1609. The Folio itself is believed to have been passed to the College in 1686 from the estate of the actor and bookseller William Cartwright. Cartwright performed with the King’s Company and is known to have played Brabantio in Othello and Falstaff in Henry IV Part I and Part II.
Greg Doran, Artistic Director Emeritus RSC, visited the Dulwich College Archive recently and in this short film talks about the First Folio.