The Book of William, Reviewed

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The Book of William — the new book chronicling the fortunes of Shakespeare’s First Folio, by regular Rumpus contributor Paul Collins — gets a nice brief writeup in the “Nonfiction Chronicle” feature of the NYT Sunday Book Review:

“Part antiquarian-book primer, part chronicle of literary curiosities, The Book of William is divided into five acts, each evoking a significant place and time in the First Folio’s colorful history…

“Weaved throughout are accounts of Collins’s amusing efforts to examine a handful of the 230 First Folios known to exist; he writes of the mixture of horror and delight he felt on discovering that ‘some Jacobean brat’ had doodled in a Folio’s margins. By the end, the reader is inclined to agree with Collins’s assertion that ‘books bear a tangible presence alongside their ineffable quality of thought: they have a body and a soul.’ “


Jeremy Hatch is a writer, musician, and professional bookseller leading a cheerful, aimless life in San Francisco. He is the Junior Literary Editor of the Rumpus and has a blog which he updates once in a while. More from this author →