Saturday 23 April 2016

A Celebration of Shakespeare's Life and Works 1616-2016

Earlier this week we visited the exhibition 'So Long Lives This': A Celebration of Shakespeare's Life and Works 1616-2016.  The venue for this exhibition is the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library

This was also our first visit to the library, which is very impressive with a huge collection of rare books.  We were informed that there are even more rare books in the archives (not on display) and that the library is open to everyone.

We particularly wanted to see the only Canadian copy of Shakespeare's First Folio (above).  The First Folio was published in 1623; seven years after Shakespeare's death.  It is the first collected edition of his plays.

There were many books on display, but it was difficult to get good photographs due to the lighting and the glass cabinets.  This colourful edition of Shakespeare's Household Words showed off new techniques for colour printing and dates from Victorian times (1859).

A bust of Shakespeare.

Many beautiful editions of his published works were on display.

Another Victorian gift edition: this one of A Winter's Tale, dating from 1865.

These tiny books are nine volumes of Shakespeare's plays and are known as Diamond Classics.  They were certainly compact and portable, if rather a challenge to read.  A reviewer in 1853 quipped that their format 'seems exclusively for sale in the kingdom of Lilliput, or for the benefit of opticians in general.'

This is a beautiful collection of rare books and we are so glad that we were able to visit this exhibition. It was an opportunity to see a First Folio, in addition to many other rare Shakespeare editions, some of which were on loan from private collections. 


  1. What a wonderful exhibition and what a thrill to see the first folio and all the other books on display too:)

  2. What a fabulous place to visit! I definitely have a touch of the green-eyed monster. Thank you for sharing it, and thank you for your kind comments on my blog. x

  3. Rosie - it was a wonderful and memorable exhibition - well worth visiting.

  4. Mrs Tiggywinkle - welcome! Thank you for visiting.

  5. Oh, WOW--what a treat to see! And what a library too! It reminds me a lot of the British Library in London, UK! :) Thanks for taking us along, Marie ((HUGS))

  6. Tracy - it is a fabulous library and I feel so lucky to have seen this exhibition.