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Will's Book: Shakespeare's First Folio

1 x 60 HD
Broadcaster:  Sky Arts

Will’s Book tells the extraordinary story of how 400 years ago, two actors and friends of William Shakespeare took on the immense task of saving his work for posterity in one incredible book, the First Folio.


An army of collaborators – actors, stationers, publishers, printers and shop-keepers – came together to create one of the most important books in the history of humanity. Plays which are central to our understanding of ourselves – Macbeth, Twelfth Night and many more – were in danger of being forgotten. Along the way, we learn about the chaotic world of Jacobean publishing, the testosterone-infested sweatshops of printing, the delicate art of engraving, and the aggressive world of early book-selling.


Narrated and led by Emma Smith, the pre-eminent Shakespeare scholar of our day, and featuring performances from Mark Rylance, Stephen Fry, Roger Allam and many more, this film tells the story of the greatest rescue in cultural history.

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