The First Folio of Shakespeare's Plays or Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies by William Shakespeare For readers that are not familiar with the First Folio, the First Folio is the very first published collection of Shakespeare's plays. It was compiled by John Heminges and Henry Condell who were William Shakespeare's friends and colleagues during his lifetime. It is believed that 750 copies of the First Folio were published back in 1623 and there are only 234 copies known to exist today. The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C. owns 82 of them and many of their books are in worse condition than this edition. As a professional expert I own and use many prestigious editions daily. While I enjoy them all, I am particularly fond of this volume. It is first and foremost a paragon of scholarship, though I admit that it is perhaps of limited interest to many in some of its aspects. Dealing with the many variants found in the various editions of the First Folio, it might seem rather medieval in some respects. Simply put, it is a First Folio made up of copies of the best pages of all First Folios available and not just the Folger Library. The book is large, maybe somewhat unwieldy, and the style is unusual to read by today's standards, but on the whole it is a work of art. It is the closest you'll ever get to owning your own First Folio, perhaps the Best Folio that will ever be available. I enjoy reading and owning fine books. This volume is about as finely made as a First Folio of Shakespeare is likely to get. It is beautifully bound in a fine, contemporary gilted binding and the book in its entirety is a pleasure to own and use. For those readers who care for such things, it will very soon be a very impressive pride of anyone's bookshelf.