Another remarkable thing about the folio is what it says about Shakespeare's status as a literary figure seven years after his death.
The folio is a prestige product, in a large format designed for the library and the collectors' market.
It opens with a series of prefaces and poems which praise Shakespeare as an ornament to the English language and a writer whose works are already recognized as having cult status and likely to outlive their day.
As Ben Jonson writes in his poem at the head of the folio, "He was not of an age, but for all time."
When in the 1630s the poet John Suckling wanted to have a portrait of himself in the role of a literary man, he had himself painted reading Shakespeare's folio.
At this time, plays in English were not generally accepted as serious works of art.
The founder of Oxford University library, Sir Thomas Bodley, specifically laid down that playbooks should not be included in the collection. But the First Folio is the earliest English book in this luxury format to be made up entirely of plays.
It demonstrates not only that Shakespeare was already acclaimed as a writer but that the English theatre as a whole was starting to look like it was producing literature.