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Bob Keyes

Bob Keyes has written about the arts in Maine since 2002. He’s never been much an artist himself, other than singing in junior high school chorus and acting in a few musicals. But he’s attended museums, theaters, clubs and concert halls all his life, and cites Bob Dylan as most influential artist of any kind since Picasso. He lives in Berwick.

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Posted: March 2, 2016

Shakespeare’s First Folio, by the numbers

Written by: Bob Keyes


 Shakespeare’s First Folio

William Shakespeare Photo courtesy of the Folger Shakespeare Library

“First Folio: The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare” will be on view at the Portland Public Library from March 4 to April 2 during regular library hours. The library has arranged dozens of events to coincide with the display of the book, which was published in 1623 and compiled 36 Shakespeare plays.
Here is a bit of trivia you might not remember from your days in school about the Bard.

1: First Folio: Shakespeare’s First Folio is the earliest-known collection of Shakespeare’s plays. It is one of the most important books ever produced because it is the only source for 18 plays, including “Macbeth,” “Julius Caesar,” “The Tempest” and “As You Like It.”

2: Two actors who worked with Shakespeare, John Heminge and Henry Condell.

3-4: The First Folio goes on display for the First Friday Art Walk on Friday at the Portland Public Library. It’s on view through the month of March.

7: The First Folio was compiled seven years after Shakespeare’s death.

16: 2016 is the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.

18: Number of Shakespeare plays that would be lost without the First Folio.

20: Number of companies participating in “Pop-up Hamlet” in Portland for First Friday.

27: The number of events associated with the First Folio at the library this month. Visit for details.

30: Number of days the First Folio will be on view in Portland: March 4 to April 2.

36: The number of Shakespeare plays in the First Folio.

37: Number of plays Shakespeare wrote, though that number isn’t certain because of sketchy documentation.

50: The First Folio will tour 50 states, as well as Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

82: Number of First Folios owned by Folger Shakespeare Library.

200: Number of U.S. dollars a copy of the First Folio would cost today, equivalent to the 20 shillings it sold for when it was published.

233: Number of First Folios still in existence.

750: Approximate number of First Folios originally printed.

1623: The year the First Folio was printed.

4,042: Number of lines in Hamlet.

Want more Bard? Read Earliest-known collection of Shakespeare’s plays comes to Portland

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