The First Folio – New Perspectives: As students of Shakespeare and the Shakespeare authorship question know, the First Folio is truly the linchpin in the whole Shakespeare mystery. Not only were 18 plays published for the first time in the First Folio, but it is also the First Folio that provides the key links to the man from Stratford as the author William Shakespeare. While there has, over the years, been much analysis of the text of the First Folio, and some analysis of the actual production and publishing process, there has –quite literally– never been any serious analysis of the historicial context in which the First Folio was published, i.e. why 1623? Why not earlier or later? And why were the actual Folios published so shot-through with errors?
The following three articles from our last two Shakespeare Oxford Newsletters take a new and provocative look at this matter of the events surrounding the First Folio’s publication, and present some conclusions that could well change the course of the authorship debate unless mainstream scholars can come up with good answers to some new questions –new questions which we believe are now, and forever, unavoidable.