The Leading Destination for Bibliophiles and Collectors in Europe
The 54th London International Antiquarian Book Fair at Olympia, organised by the Antiquarian Booksellers Association (ABA), returns to the London Olympia Exhibition Centre from 9-11 June. At Olympia, visitors will find on sale an almost unparalleled array of books and related material presented by over 160 of the top dealers worldwide and covering the vast range of collectors’ interests, from the genesis of printing in the 15th century to today: first, rare and fine editions in all areas of literature, the humanities and science, fine bindings, illustrated books, manuscripts, maps, prints, photography and associated ephemera. “We are excited about our new charity partner, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, represented by Zoe Wanamaker”, says Fair Chairman Robert Frew. Zoë Wanamaker, Honorary President of Shakespeare's Globe and this year’s Fair Patron will open the Fair on Thursday 9 June, 2011.
Welcome by Zoë Wanamaker
I am delighted that Shakespeare's Globe has been chosen as this year's charity for the London International Antiquarian Book Fair at Olympia. It is very timely as plans are now underway to build a library adjacent to the Globe.
The library will house an exceptional collection of Antiquarian books thanks to the remarkable generosity of John Wolfson. The Wolfson Library will include the First, Second, Third and Fourth Folios of Shakespeare's plays and over 150 individual plays published before 1642.
Readers will also find sources for Shakespeare's plays in English, French, Italian and Spanish, and nearly every Restoration adaptation of a Shakespeare play. The Library will be of enormous value to actors, directors, scholars and students. It will help fulfill my father's wish that the Globe should become the leading Centre for the study and performance of Shakespeare's plays.
It is incredible to think that eighteen of his plays might have been lost had the First Folio not been published in 1623. Eighteen were not printed until 1623 and no manuscripts survived. I would not have had the opportunity to play Viola in Twelfth Night. Shakespeare's Globe would not be staging All's Well That Ends Well or As You Like It this summer and could not have staged Macbeth, Measure for Measure, The Tempest, The Winter's Tale or The Comedy of Errors in years past.
Would Shakespeare be as revered across the world today without those Folio plays? Would the Globe have been chosen as the British Exhibit for the 1933 World's Fair in Chicago had the First Folio not been printed? Would my father have ever dreamt of building the Globe in London had he not seen the Chicago Globe as a student?
Those of us who work in the theatre can take pride in the fact that it was two of Shakespeare's fellow actors, John Heminge and Henry Condell, who decided to gather his plays together in the Folio volume in 1623, seven years after his death.
They also decided to remember their colleagues who acted in the plays. The actors are named on the page before the The Tempest, the first play printed in the Folio. It is an important cast list of 26 actors. Shakespeare heads the company followed by his leading actor Richard Burbage. No women of course!
The Bible and the Complete Works of Shakespeare are the two books given to every castaway on BBC Radio Four's Desert Island Discs. This year Shakespeare's Globe is celebrating the 400th anniversary of that second influential antiquarian book from the 17th century - the King James Bible. Plays have been selected to support this year's theme, The Word is God, and the King James Bible is read in its entirety from the Globe stage by actors in April. Globe Education is running events comparing both books in its summer series The Heard Word: Pulpit versus Playhouse.
The Globe would warmly welcome the gift of a 1611 Bible to join the Shakespeare Folios in its new library. But castaways are allowed to choose one other book to take with them on the desert island. My choice would be Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows. Does a book published in 1908 count as antiquarian?
I hope all visitors will enjoy browsing through the wide range of books that are for sale and I wish all book dealers a happy and profitable Fair. Heminge and Condell spoke for all book sellers when they urged the public to read the First Folio..."but buy it first".
>>> More information on ILAB.org