Write till your ink be dry
Shakespeare's complete works in miniature
About the Item
This set of 39 miniature books is kept in a revolving wooden bookcase.
The set contains almost the entire works of William Shakespeare, including his plays and sonnets. The only play that is missing is Titus Andronicus!
The individual books are very small, measuring 5cm by 3cm – that’s about half the size of a credit card! Each book has a decorative gold design on its spine and front cover and some feature tiny and very detailed illustrations.
The publisher, David Bryce & Sons, specialised in creating miniature books. They would sometimes provide tiny magnifying glasses with their works to help people read the small print.
This edition was originally dedicated to the famous actress Ellen Terry (1847 - 1928). In 1904, Ellen Terry appeared in several Shakespeare plays across the country. Perhaps the publishers decided to make this special set of books as a celebration of her acting tour.
Books come in all shapes and sizes and some of our favourite books contain surprises such as pop-up features or lift-the-flaps. If you want to make a book of your own you can find a set of bookmaking instructions on the Shakespeare Week website.
Here's a video of the artist Jennie Maizels who illustrated Pop up Shakespeare explaining how she works with a team of people to create her beautiful pop-up books:
CC-BY-NC-ND Image Courtesy of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust