William Shakespeare was, and is, a well-renowned author of many plays that remain remarkably popular even today in this day and age. He didn’t just go by the name Shakespeare though, you may have also heard of him as The Bard. 

400 years ago, the first folio of Shakespeare's was published in 1623 with the first recorded copy being purchased on the 5th of December 1623. Shakespeare’s first folio was a collection of 36 plays that Shakespeare wrote but were not published during his lifetime. The folio was published 7 years after his death and was put together by a few of his close friends including Isaac Jaggard and Edward Blount. There were also others involved in the publishing of the folio who were recognised for smaller contributions such as the engraving of the portrait of William Shakespeare at the start of the book. The folio was named ‘Mr William Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories and Tragedies’ and contained many of his famous plays such as Macbeth, The Tempest and Romeo and Juliet. 

It is known that 235 copies survived from the 750 that were originally printed in 1623. The remaining folios are scattered throughout the globe, with them primarily located in North America and the UK but there are also copies across Europe and Asia too. 

Most celebrations took place on folio day - 8th of November. People celebrated by watching many of his plays live across England and by visiting current copies of the folio itself. Even though it has surpassed folio day there are still lots of ways you can celebrate the anniversary in your local area. One way is watching ‘Shakespeare: Rise of a Genius’ which is accessible on BBC iPlayer and there is also a 9-part animated Romeo and Juliet series for younger people who are also interested in celebrating on BBC teach. In addition your teachers in the English department at your school may also be putting on an event for this celebration. In my school we held a treasure hunt around school with a prize of a £10 amazon voucher. The department received many entries and the younger years in our school showed lots of interest in the life of Shakespeare. Are the younger generations trying to keep the bard alive..?