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The publication of Shakespeare’s First Folio in 1623 was a landmark in English literary history. More than that, it was an engine for cultural renewal with consequences for the rest of the seventeenth century and after. 

In this lecture, Professor Roland Greene will consider the First Folio as an event, not only in its immediate national context but from outside England and in light of its influence over the long term.

A reception will follow.

This lecture is one of the first in a series of activities that explore the First Folios and their legacies. This includes a major exhibition at Senate House Library – Shakespeare’s First Folios: A 400 Year Journey. The exhibition, which will run until February 2024, traces the extraordinary journey of the First Folio since its publication in 1623, including the republished editions produced in the last 400 years. One of the two First Folios held at Senate House Library will also be on display on selected dates. 

Roland Greene is Mark Pigott KBE Professor, Anthony P. Meier Family Professor of the Humanities, Director of the Stanford Humanities Center and Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Stanford University. He is a scholar of the early modern literatures of England, Latin Europe, and the transatlantic world. His most recent book, Five Words: Critical Semantics in the Age of Shakespeare and Cervantes, places English literature in a global context. 

All welcome

This event is free to attend, but booking is required.