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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.

All Documents

1600
This is the first (and only) quarto edition of Much Ado About Nothing.
1600
This is the second edition of Titus Andronicus, printed in 1600 by James Roberts for Edward White. John Danter registered the play and printed the first edition in 1594, for White and Thomas Millington. 
1600
Englands Helicon, a collection of poetry first printed in 1600 by John Roberts for John Flasket, includes a sonnet from act 4, scene 3 of Love’s Labor’s Lost (1598). The poem in Englands Helicon is ascribed to “W.
1600
This is the second edition of The True Tragedy of Richard Duke of York, now known as Shakespeare’s Henry VI Part 3.
1600
The second edition of Shakespeare’s Henry VI Part 2 was printed as The First Part of the Contention Betwixt the Two Famous Houses of Yorke and Lancaster in 1600, six years after the first edition.
1602
The first edition of the rollicking middle-class comedy The Merry Wives of Windsor was published in 1602, after being entered into the Stationers’ Register for John Busby on January 18, 1602 and then immediately transferred by Busby to Arthur Johnson on the
1602
This is the third edition of Richard III, printed in 1602. It is the second of two editions printed by Thomas Creede for Andrew Wise. On June 25, 1603 Wise transferred the rights to the play to Matthew Law.
1602
In 1602, two years after the first edition, the second edition of Henry V, known as Quarto 2, was printed by Thomas Creede for Thomas Pavier.
1603
SHAKESPEARE DOCUMENTED IS STILL GROWING! Descriptive content and transcriptions will continue to be added, updated and expanded. Check back for regular updates!
1604
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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