The complete works of William Shakespeare in magnificent collectors editions
The Folio Society celebrates the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth with the completion of a landmark project – every play in the canon as well as the sonnets and poems, presented in individual limited editions, printed letterpress and bound by hand
- Type set in 16 point Monotype Baskerville with generous margins, in a large format: 14” x 10.75”
- Text printed by letterpress onto thick, mould-made paper with deckled edges
- Each limited edition volume hand-numbered on a special limitation page
- Quarter-bound in goatskin leather with individually hand-marbled paper sides
- Gilded top edges; ribbon marker
- Presented together with a commentary in a buckram-bound solander box
- Accompanying volume reproduces complete text with notes along with scholarly commentary
- Only 300 copies of each volume available
April 23, 2014 – St George’s Day – also marks the 450th anniversary of the birth of William Shakespeare. To commemorate this date, The Folio Society announces the completion of its landmark Letterpress Shakespeare series.
This unprecedented project, begun in 2006, is a celebration of the greatest literary achievement in the English language. Its aim is to present Shakespeare’s words in their purest form. A large format was chosen, with a generous type size and margins on each page. Unlike other editions of Shakespeare, the elements that clutter the page and impede the reader’s enjoyment – the textual variants, glossary and notes – have been removed to a separate commentary volume. Shakespeare’s incomparable text, printed letterpress on thick, mould-made paper, becomes a feast for the eye as well as the mind.
For centuries, letterpress was the standard printing process, but over the past 50 years, it has become the preserve of only a select few craftsmen. It is labour intensive: the text is cast in hot metal type and the pages designed by a skilled compositor, then printed slowly and carefully, just two pages at a time.
The paper used in these editions is made from cotton and pure wood fibres and has a feathered edge known as a ‘deckle’. The high rag content provides texture and opacity but also means it will last for generations and not curl or discolour. Printing letterpress on this grade of paper means the words are deeply impressed, giving a result that is crisp and appealing to the touch, and deeply satisfying for the reader.
The Letterpress Shakespeare has been a major undertaking requiring the skills of many experts and craftsmen. It is an exquisite series that will delight the eye of all bibliophiles, book collectors and lovers of the works of William Shakespeare.