A fascinated audience heard about the history of Wadham’s copy, the biographies of the men who published it, and the idiosyncrasies of the Folio texts of Shakespeare’s plays.
Wadham Lecturer Ben Higgins began the seminar by introducing Jaggard, Blount and the other early publishers responsible for getting the First Folio into print, explaining just how risky and audacious an enterprise this was at the time. Librarian Tim Kirtley, then described the provenance of Wadham’s copies of the First and Second Folio and gave an overview of the library’s fascinating holdings.
The full audience of graduates, Fellows and their guests were also treated to a rare close-up encounter with Wadham’s copy of what has come to be regarded as the seminal early collection of Shakespeare’s plays.
John Miles, Research Associate at Wadham, was joined by professional actors Renata Allen and Paul Ansdell for readings and analysis of the text. Under the expert direction of theatre director John Retallack, Renata, Paul and John delved into those intriguing parts of Shakespeare’s plays which survive only because they are preserved in the First Folio, with John’s explanation of their significance interspersed with rehearsed readings of key passages.
Organised by Wadham’s Research Associates, Wadham in Objects uses Wadham’s intriguing objects to engage College members in the history of the College.