Saturday, September 11, 2004

Shakespeare's plays, the Quartos, online

BBC News reports that the British Library has placed high resolution copies of 21 Shakespeare plays online. These images are the "quartos" printed in Shakespeare's lifetime.

The texts date from Shakespeare's lifetime and are pamphlet editions of plays prepared to be sold after performances had finished.
The printed works show how the text evolved and cast doubt on the idea of definitive versions of his plays.

Moira Goff, head of British Collections 1501-1800 at the British Library was interviewed for the article and continues:

As such the editions were prepared during Shakespeare's life and they are likely to be more authentic versions of the plays than the First Folio editions that were published seven years after the Bard's death in 1616.

The texts of the plays are thought to be the closest versions to the way that the plays were actually written and performed.
"Given that Shakespeare left no manuscripts behind, the quartos are as close as we are able to get to what he actually wrote," said Ms Goff.

This is the link to the British Library collection. How splendid, this kind of offering is where the internet shines!

No comments: