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Eighteen of Shakespeare’s plays were printed during Shakespeare's lifetime, in a small, inexpensive format called a “quarto.” A quarto is a book in which each printed sheet is folded twice—in half, and then in half again—to produce four double-sided leaves, or eight pages. Quartos were sold in flimsy bindings or sometimes no bindings at all, making them vulnerable to damage and loss over the years. The early Shakespeare quartos are now extraordinarily rare; some survive in only a single copy. The texts in the quartos sometimes differ significantly from the same plays in the 1623 First Folio, the first collected edition of Shakespeare's plays, which was published seven years after he died.

The first quartos of Shakespeare's plays appeared in 1594 and included Titus Andronicus, and Henry VI Part 2 (as it is now titled). Some plays, such as Richard III and Henry IV Part 1, appeared in multiple quarto editions, showing their popularity. Many of the earliest of the quartos do not include Shakespeare's name but highlight instead the acting company that first performed the play.

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1609
The publication rights for Romeo and Juliet were transferred twice in 1607, on January 22 from Cuthbert Burby to Nicholas Ling, and on November 19 from Ling to John Smethwicke.
1609
This is the first edition of Troilus and Cressida. This play was recorded twice in the Stationers’ Company register before it was ever printed.
1611
The third edition of Pericles was printed in 1611. It retains certain textual errors introduced in the second edition, indicating that the third edition was based on the previous one.
1611
This is the third edition of Titus Andronicus. On April 19, 1602 Thomas Millington transferred the right to publish the play to Thomas Pavier. However, the third edition was not printed until 1611, and lists Edward White, not Pavier, as the publisher.
1611
SHAKESPEARE DOCUMENTED IS STILL GROWING! Descriptive content and transcriptions will continue to be added, updated and expanded. Check back for regular updates!
1612
This is the fifth edition of Richard III, printed in 1612. Like the fourth edition, it was printed by Thomas Creede for Matthew Law.
1613
Mathew Law published this fifth edition of Henry IV Part 1 in 1613.
1615
Matthew Law published a fifth quarto edition of Richard II in 1615, seven years after the previous edition, this time working with the printer Thomas Purfoot.
1619
The fourth edition of Pericles was published by Thomas Pavier and printed by William Jaggard in 1619. Pavier and Jaggard printed ten plays by or attributed to Shakespeare, now known to scholars as the Pavier quartos.
1619
SHAKESPEARE DOCUMENTED IS STILL GROWING! Descriptive content and transcriptions will continue to be added, updated and expanded. Check back for regular updates!

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