Image used with permission from The Folio Society
Lord Polonius: What do you read, my lord?
Hamlet: Words, words, words.
Hamlet (2.2 199-200)
The Folio Society has been preparing for William Shakespeare’s 450th birthday since 2006, when the renowned British fine books publishing house embarked on an ambitious project to print every tragedy, comedy and history in a large format, limited edition collection. The entire canon, including poems and sonnets, is now complete and color-coded by genre in individually numbered volumes. Zerkal deckle press paper, Moroccan leather binding and typeset in letterpress on hand-marbled paper, these books are a sumptuous tactile experience.
The series is a feast for the eyes as well; Shakespeare’s words stand alone, elegant and unobstructed by small margins and notes because the texts and commentaries are now in separate volumes. This affords readers the delight of reading Shakespeare unencumbered by visual clutter.
Each page meets the Folio Society’s rigorous standards for quality and craftsmanship. These gems are also attractively priced at $545 per volume. Such beauty is fleeting – only three hundred copies of each volume exist. What better way to celebrate the Bard’s birthday than by enjoying his work in such a wonderful manner.