The Library of Trinity College Dublin
Professor Andy Murphy
Niamh O’Farrell Tyler recites ‘the isle is full of noises’ speech (2023) by Niamh O’Farrell TylerThe Library of Trinity College Dublin
'The isle is full of noises . . . '
Niamh O'Farrell-Tyler recites Caliban's famous speech from The Tempest.
Prof Andrew Murphy speaks about the Shakespeare First Folio (2023) by Andrew MurphyThe Library of Trinity College Dublin
'O let my books be then the eloquence'
Prof Andy Murphy discusses the First Folio.
Arthur Browne (1795) by Hugh Douglas HamiltonThe Library of Trinity College Dublin
Several copies of the First Folio made their way to Ireland, but only one now remains on the island -- the copy held at Trinity College. It was purchased by the College in 1805 at the auction of the library of the late Arthur Browne.
Prof Andrew Murphy speaks about Arthur Browne and his family (2023) by Andrew MurphyThe Library of Trinity College Dublin
The Browne Family
Andy Murphy discusses the history of the Browne family and their links to Ireland.
Malton Image (1793) by James MaltonThe Library of Trinity College Dublin
Trinity College in Arthur Browne's Time
Browne ultimately became a Fellow in Trinity. He was a talented linguist and served as Professor of Law and Professor of Greek. A contemporary account indicates that 'for many years no person in the university was more beloved than Dr Browne -- he was the idol of the students.'
TCD Folio (1623) by William ShakespeareThe Library of Trinity College Dublin
The Trinity Copy
Trinity's copy of the First Folio shows many signs of the domestic life it lived before it made its way to the College Library. In the next set of images we explore some of these distinctive marks.
Burn mark (1632) by William ShakespeareThe Library of Trinity College Dublin
'Out, out, brief candle . . . '
In this image, we see that a candle has been dropped into the centre of the volume, burning through several pages. The pages have been repaired, with the missing text being carefully recreated in a manuscript facsimile of the original type.
Paw print (1620) by William ShakespeareThe Library of Trinity College Dublin
'The cat will mew and dog will have his day...'
Here, in the 'wooing scene' of Henry V, we find the paw print of either a small dog or a large cat.
Inscription (1623) by William ShakespeareThe Library of Trinity College Dublin
A Shakespearean mystery
The most intriguing set of marks in the Trinity Folio are inscribed on a blank page opposite the first scene of King John.
'Read the subtle shining secrecies . . . '
What might these marks mean? It may be that they are a form of shorthand -- possibly the same as that used by the famous diarist Samuel Pepys. But what message do we find here? Some secret mystery? Or something mundane like a shopping list?
Shakespeare the Irishman
Shakespeare's Folio found a home at Trinity. But Shakespeare the dramatist found a home in Ireland in other ways as well. His plays have been performed in Ireland since the 1660s and he has been a source of inspiration for Irish writers and thinkers over the centuries.
Shakespeare as Gaeilge
Some of his texts have been translated into the Irish language. Here we see the Irish translation of Coriolanus, produced by Liam Ó Briain in 1945. Ó Briain's translation was staged at An Tabhdhearc, the Irish language theatre in Galway, and at the Gate Theatre in Dublin.
Prof Andrew Murphy introduces Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin’s translation of Caliban’s speech (2023) by Andrew MurphyThe Library of Trinity College Dublin
Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin reads her Irish language translation of ‘the isle is full of noises’ (2023) by Eiléan Ní ChuilleanáinThe Library of Trinity College Dublin
Ná bíodh faitíos oraibh . . .
Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin reads her Irish translation of 'the isle is full of noises' from The Tempest.
A Folio of one's own
Trinity's copy of the First Folio has been digitised as part of the 400th anniversary celebrations. You can access the entire volume online.
Exhibition curated by Andy Murphy (School of English) and Shane Mawe (Library Research Collections). Exhibition development and outreach supported by Jenny Doyle and Gill Whelan (Digital Collections), Greg Sheaf (Web Services), Clodagh Neligan (Preservation & Conservation), Estelle Gittins (Research Collections), Rachel Mathews-McKay (Outreach & Events), Caoimhe Ni Lochlainn (Library Communications), and the College Art Collections team. We thank Anne-Marie Diffley (Visitor Services), Brian Foley and Paul Fox.
Thanks also to the Trinity Centre of the Book Steering Committee, Eve Patten, Caitriona Curtis and the staff of the Trinity Long Room Hub Arts & Humanities Research Institute, and Anna Chahoud and Joseph Clarke of the College research theme in Manuscript, Book & Print Culture.
Videography: Barry Lynch, Infocus Media
Image of Trinity College Dublin courtesy of the National Library of Ireland
Special thanks to Niamh O'Farrell-Tyler and Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin