Shakespeare’s First Folio: The Surprising Survival Story

          400 years ago, Shakespeare’s plays were collected together in a book.

          It remains the greatest literary work ever created.

          Little is known about the man who wrote it.

          But there are clues …

So begins the BBC’s absorbing drama “Shakespeare: Rise of a Genius” which celebrates the 400th anniversary of his First Folio.

Published in 1623, it’s a collection of 36 of his Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies.

It is considered one of the most influential books ever published – and rightly so.

Were it not for his great friends and former colleagues John Heminge and Henry Condell who brought it all together after his death, Shakespeare’s works may never have survived.

It’s worth pausing to consider the longevity of print and how the First Folio has survived the ravages of time, wars, pestilence and … this island’s only period as a republic.

We don’t know for sure, but it is thought that around 750 copies may have been printed and of those 235 are with us today.

This most certainly isn’t a “print is good and digital bad”, sermon but a lesson about how good print is at hanging around.

Digital and Print channels can and do exist happily side by side.

And long may it continue.

Indeed, we should celebrate the fact that they support each other so well as part of a media mix which allows us to reach our audience in such a rich variety of ways.

Variety IS the spice of life and never more so than when mixing it up to reach our audience in myriad ways.

Until next time.