The Bard and the Book: How the First Folio Saved the Plays of William Shakespeare from Oblivion (Hardcover)

The Bard and the Book: How the First Folio Saved the Plays of William Shakespeare from Oblivion By Ann Bausum, Marta Sevilla (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Ann Bausum, Marta Sevilla (Illustrator)
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The unlikely true story of why we know the name William Shakespeare today, and the four-hundred-year-old book that made it possible.

Four hundred years ago, no one bothered to write down the exact words of stage plays. Characters’ lines were scribbled on small rolls of paper (as in, an actor’s role) and passed around, but no master script was saved for the future. The main reason we’ve heard of Romeo, Juliet, Hamlet, and Shakespeare himself is that a group of people made the excellent choice to preserve the plays after the Bard died. If they hadn’t created the book known as the First Folio, Shakespeare and his works would surely have been lost to history.  

Part literary scavenger hunt (the search for every existing First Folio continues today), part book trivia treasure trove, and part love letter to Shakespeare, this behind-the-scenes, sharply funny true story is an ideal introduction to the Bard and his famous plays.

About the Author

Ann Bausum writes about history for readers of all ages from her home in southern Wisconsin. Her books frequently explore issues of social justice, including women’s voting rights, the civil rights movement of the American South, free speech, immigration, and queer history.

Bausum’s sixteen published books have debuted to consistent acclaim and have earned more than two dozen starred reviews. Her titles appear frequently on lists of recommended and notable books and have received numerous awards. The body of her work has been recognized nationally by the Children’s Book Guild of Washington, D.C. Find out more about her work at

Marta Sevilla is an Illustrator and Creative based in Madrid. Her professional activities focus on editorial illustration, Children's Picture books, Book covers, Posters and Surface Design. Her illustrations are colorful and quirky, and tend to contain a humorous vision. She works from her Illustration Studio drawing for national and international clients. Visit her at

Praise For…

★ "Bausum uses a fresh, reader-friendly tone. . . A beautiful, well-researched book exploring an intriguing subject."—Booklist, Starred Review
★ "Bausum’s passion for the topic is infectious, making for a joyous and engaging read for Shakespearean enthusiasts and skeptics alike."—Publisher’s Weekly, Starred Review

"Lively nonfiction work. . . Bausum consistently threads the needle with winking humor and real interest."The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

"A timely and engaging celebration of a literary landmark."—Kirkus Reviews

Product Details
ISBN: 9781682634950
ISBN-10: 1682634957
Publisher: Peachtree
Publication Date: April 2nd, 2024
Pages: 112
Language: English


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