King's College London
Exhibitions & Conferences
Shakespeare in the archives at King's


Two pages of a manuscript notebook, the first listing plays and page numbers, he second listing the names of plays in one column with, in other columns, dates of compositionFurnivall's notebook with estimated composition dates of Shakespeare’s playsFurnivall and the New Shakspere Society believed that it was essential to determine the chronology of Shakespeare’s plays.

‘Unless a man’s works are studied in the order in which he wrote them, you cannot get a right understanding of his mind, you cannot follow the growth of it.’

In the 1623 First Folio, Shakespeare’s plays were grouped by type (comedies, histories and tragedies), not chronologically.

Furnivall examined changing verse patterns in the plays to identify their date order.

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