The First Folios II

I’m a lifelong Shakespeare fan. When I met my sister Pam in London, I’d already gotten us tickets for two of his plays. And once I saw a First Folio of The Tempest at the National Maritime Museum, I was on a mission. In the next ten days, I wanted to track down as many Folio Editions as possible….

We didn’t know it, but it was ‘Folio Season’ (4th March to 8th November). The year 2023 was the 400th anniversary of the printing of the First Folio which brought together 23 of the Bard’s plays. Talk about perfect timing to visit London and go on a Shakespeare hunt!

We saw both Macbeth and As You Like It in London and the Globe Theater displayed the ‘Munro’ copy in their main foyer. It was a pleasure to see the anonymous owner had made the copy available for the public to view.

The V&A Museum owns three copies of the First Folio. The V&A’s obsession with collecting (the Victorian “I want!” compulsion, we called it) proved too much for us. Pam and I made it to the room with their folio editions, admired them, and fled.

Image courtesy of the British Library website. Link provided in the NOTES

But the British Library displays copies of all the Folios (First, Second, Third and Fourth) in their superb Treasures Room. The Library was down the street from our hotel; this meant we were able to visit twice and take our time examining the cases with their rare copies of Beowulf, Chaucer, Shakespeare, the Brontë sisters’ teeny tiny book (it fits in a palm), Mary Wollstonecraft’s Vindication of the Rights of Woman, original notebook pages of song texts by the Beatles, the Magna Carta, and so much more.

It’s free to visit! Go! The Bard and I would approve!


Sir, I invite your highness and your train
To my poor cell, where you shall take your rest
For this one night; which, part of it, I’ll waste
With such discourse as, I not doubt, shall make it
Go quick away; the story of my life
And the particular accidents gone by
Since I came to this isle: and in the morn
I’ll bring you to your ship and so to Naples,
Where I have hope to see the nuptial
Of these our dear-beloved solemnized;
And thence retire me to my Milan, where
Every third thought shall be my grave.

NOTES: “On 25 March 1616, Shakespeare revised and signed his will. On 23 April, his presumed birthday, he died, aged 52. On 25 April, he was buried at Holy Trinity Church in Stratford.”The Royal Shakespeare Company.©2024 Jadi Campbell. Click here for more on British Library Treasures. For Uwe’s photos from our trips and his photography, go to

My books are Broken In: A Novel in Stories, Tsunami Cowboys,  Grounded and The Trail Back Out.

Tsunami Cowboys was longlisted for the 2019 ScreenCraft Cinematic Book Award. Broken In: A Novel in Stories was semifinalist for the international 2020 Hawk Mountain Short Story Collection Award from Hidden River Arts and Finalist for Greece’s 2021 Eyelands Book of the Year Award (Short Stories).

The Trail Back Out was the 2023 San Francisco Book Festival Winner for General Fiction, American Book Fest 2020 Best Book Award Finalist: Fiction Anthologies, Runner-Up for the 2021 Top Shelf Award, 2021 IAN Book of the Year Award Short Story Collection Finalist, and awarded a 2021 Wishing Shelf Red Ribbon. The title story The Trail Back Out was longlisted for the 2021 ScreenCraft Cinematic Short Story Award.

Click here for my author page to learn more about me and purchase my books.

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