About the Book:
If there ever has been a groundbreaking edition that likewise returns
the reader to the original Shakespeare text, it will be the Applause
Folio Texts edited by Neil Freeman.
The Applause First Folio Editions compare the differences between the
first printings and the best modern texts of Shakespeare’s works, with
special emphasis on issues relevant to each particular play:
• Faithful reproduction of the text as presented in the First Folio of
1623, in clear and legible modern type, with original compositors
• Ample exercises for practice and inspiration.
• Comprehensive introduction for each of the plays.
• Footnotes discuss many of the Quarto and modern text variations
• Glosses highlight scholarship of the last four centuries.
• Opposite each page of text is a blank page for reader notes and comments.
• New easy coding system guides readers directly to single topics far
more swiftly and efficiently than comparable attempts in modern
• New visual clues allow readers to explore where modern texts have
altered the original First Folio line structure (in some plays involving
as many as 200 lines or more).
The Folio is the source of all other editions. The Folio text forces
us to re-examine the assumptions and prejudices which have encumbered
over four hundred years of scholarship and performance. Notes refer the
reader to subsequent editorial interventions, and offer the reader a
multiplicity of interpretations. Notes by Neil Freeman also advise the reader on variations between Folios and Quartos.
The heavy mascara of four centuries of Shakespearean glossing has by
now glossed over the original countenance of Shakespeare's work. Never
has there been a Folio available in modern reading fonts. While other
complete Folio editions continue to trade simply on the facsimile
appearance of the Elizabethan look, none of them is easily and practically utilized in general Shakespeare studies or performances.
What people say:
"Neil Freeman is handing you the
same text that William Shakespeare handed his actors ... destined to
become standard texts in schools, universities, and libraries." — Tina Packer, Artistic Director, Shakespeare & Co.
"At last! A readable form of the original Folios. Invaluable to conceiving and creating one's own interpretation." — Richard Rose, Director, Stratford Festival
"They are extremely actor-friendly and
share the greatest thing to happen for Shakespearean actors at the end
of this century, an annotated, unedited original text, spelling mistakes
and all." — Mark Rylance, Artistic Director, Shakepeare's Globe
"What Applause has issued are not
facsimiles of the 1623 folio, but modern-type versions of the original
spelling texts (under the direction of-and with commentary by-the
scholar Neil Freeman). Versions designed not just to be read but
to re-create for actors and directors something closer to the unmediated
playscripts used by Shakespeare's own company. To strip away the
accretions of overpunctuation, of act- and scene-divisions imposed by
later editors; to recapture the feel of the plays' first performances." — The New York Observer
About the Author:
William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon, England, in 1564. He is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language.
Neil Freeman (1941 - 2015) was Associate Professor Emeritus in the
Department of Theatre, Film and Creative Writing at the University of
British Columbia (UBC). He trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre
School. His awards include the John Gielgud Scholarship; USA National
Endowment of the Arts Major Artists's Fellowship; the Joseph G. Green
Fellowship from York University, and a minor Scholarship from SSSHRC. He
worked with the Will Geer Theatre, British American Drama Academy, The
National Theatre School, the Centre for Actors Study, the National Voice
Intensive and the Stratford Festival.