Picard's Shakespeare Books

by Jörg Hillebrand and Bernd Schneider

Globe Illustrated ShakespeareAppearances of Globe ShakespeareAnnotated ShakespeareAppearances of Vol. IVol. IIVol. IIIOther Books


In TNG: "Hide and Q" Q reads in Captain Picard's Shakespeare book. When he flings the book at Picard we can clearly recognize the cover. It is The Globe Illustrated Shakespeare - The Complete Works Annotated. So far I assumed that this book is the same one that can be seen flipped open in the showcase in Picard's ready room in nearly all TNG episodes. I did screen caps from various episodes, but none of them is clear enough to allow an identification of the pages that are visible, or of which illustrations from which plays are depicted.

For many years, I tried in vain to get my hands on the very same edition of the Globe Illustrated Shakespeare. I bought the 1979 edition with its relatively simple cover. Furthermore, I own the 1983 edition, which already has the same cover as Picard's edition but with a red leather binding. I also have the 1986 edition. This one too has the same cover as Picard's and the same blue/black leather binding. The central depiction of the Globe Theatre, however, is gold/blue on the '86 edition, and not gold/red as on Picard's. The content, including the page numbers, is the same in these three editions.

In 2020, I finally managed to find the very same edition that Picard owns: it is the 1986 Deluxe edition, with a genuine leather cover.

Based on the blurred SD screen caps I could identify most of the pages of the book that are visible in episodes even before the Blu-ray version was available. The remastered shots allow to recognize a few more pages. A couple of double pages appear frequently, while other pages can be seen only in single episodes. All pages can be found in the middle of the book, because the only way it could be presented properly in the glass case was when it was half flipped open.

As I sifted through the episodes I found that Picard not only has an opened book in the ready room but also in his quarters. This one is initially visible in a shelf, later also on a dedicated small desk beside the entrance to his quarters. In later episodes Data too has an open book in a shelf in his quarters. I have investigated these appearances as well.

The first time that I had doubts that the Globe Illustrated Shakespeare is visible in all seven seasons in Picard's ready room was when I watched the scenes in this room in "The Offspring". This episode has the arguably best shot of the book. The illustration on the page shows Titania and Nick Bottom, mutated to a donkey, in A Midsummer Night's Dream. This noted image by Henry Fuselli does not appear in the Globe Illustrated Shakespeare. At least in this one episode we see another book in the showcase.

Looking at "Chain of Command, Parts I & II" there are also two scenes with evidence that the book is another one.

When Jellico takes over command of the Enterprise-D, he is talking with Picard in his ready room, and he gives Picard the Shakespeare book to take with him. This book is visibly thinner than the one that Picard is holding in "Hide and Q". Moreover, it has a red cloth binding. In "Chain of Command, Part II" we can see how Riker thumbs through the book. It too has the red cloth binding, and its illustrations do not match the ones in the Globe Illustrated Shakespeare.

So I searched for more large-format Shakespeare books and eventually found the right one. We are dealing with one of the three volumes of The Annotated Shakespeare, published by A. L. Rowse (1978). The cover matches perfectly with the screen caps from "Chain of Command, Parts I & II". And so I went and bought all three volumes.

I quickly noticed that the major part of the screen caps from Picard's ready room actually don't show the Globe Illustrated Shakespeare but the Annotated Shakespeare. Vol. I of the latter book is the most frequently visible one, vol. II can be seen predominantly in later episodes. We can spot the Annotated Shakespeare as well in Data's quarters in a number of episodes.

Now that I was in possession of all the required Shakespeare books, I could go through my screen cap collection once again and identify the visible pages in almost all cases. It also became clear when the exchange of the books took place and when vol. II of the Annotated Shakespeare appeared on the scene in addition to vol. I.

In the following I will list in which episodes which page pairs can be seen. In some special cases I will further elucidate the appearances of the books.


The Globe Illustrated Shakespeare - The Complete Works Annotated
Edited by Howard Staunton, illustrated by John Gilbert, published by Greenwich House, Inc.

This book was only visible in Picard's ready room during the first season of TNG. It was replaced with the Annotated Shakespeare towards the end of that season.

The question may arise why the Globe Illustrated Shakespeare was replaced with the Annotated Shakespeare so soon. The following reason is possible: The pages of the Globe Illustrated Shakespeare are very thin, like Bible pages. Therefore the pages of a standing book tend to slip down easily (as is visible in "Coming of Age" and "Where Silence Has Lease"). It may have been necessary to re-arrange the pages between the takes in order to maintain scene continuity. This was time-consuming and may have been the reason to switch to a different book with thicker pages. Vol. I of the Annotated Shakespeare was acquired for Picard's quarters in "The Battle". It is overall much thinner than the Globe Illustrated Shakespeare, and with considerably thicker paper. Hence, the pages remain in place with ease when flipped open.

This new book from Picard's quarters was later transferred to the ready room, where it would be visible much more often, while the Globe Illustrated Shakespeare wound up in Picard's quarters ("Where Silence Has Lease"). When the book was visible another time in Picard's quarters, another solution had been found, however (see below).


Appearances of The Globe Illustrated Shakespeare

Encounter at Farpoint

This is the first time that we can see the Globe Illustrated Shakespeare, albeit just as a reflection in the window behind Picard. The visible pages are apparently the same as one episode later (1174/1175).

For "All Good Things" Picard's ready room would be reverted to the state of 2364, but oddly the Shakespeare book was removed altogether from that timeframe. In the scenes that take place in the present of 2370, the Annotated Shakespeare is visible as usual. In the scenes depicting the past the glass case as well as the Globe Illustrated Shakespeare are missing, although they were evidently already there in "Encounter at Farpoint".

The Naked Now

We can clearly see the Globe Illustrated Shakespeare for the first time. Pages 1174/1175 are on top. The depiction shows King Edward and Lady Grey from Henry VI, Part III.


This episode shows a page pair of the book that should appear repeatedly. It is the double page 1262/1263. On the right side we can definitely see King Richard III (dark clothes, crooked posture). So this is an illustration from Richard III. The same page is also visible in "Lonely Among Us" and "The Battle".

Hide and Q

As already mentioned, we can see how Q is thumbing through Picard's book. In this process we can see the pages 754/755, 756/757 and 758/759. These are the first couple of pages about All's Well That Ends Well.

In the same episode we can also see the book in its usual place underneath the glass cover. Now the double page 980/981 is visible. These pages comprise the first illustration to Twelfth Night, or, What You will.


We see the double page 1206/1207, containing the first illustration to Timon of Athens.

Home Soil

In this episode we can see the page pair 814/815 for the first time, which will also appear in "Coming of Age". It contains an illustration from Henry V, depicting the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Ely.

This book will appear three more times, now in Picard's quarters.

Where Silence Has Lease

The book is standing in a shelf in Picard's quarters. In the early episodes of season 1 we could see a book in the same place, but so far it was always the Annotated Shakespeare (see below). I could find the depiction visible in "Where Silence Has Lease" in the Globe Illustrated Shakespeare on pages 1146/1147. It is the first depiction about Henry VI, Part III.

Pen Pals

In this episode, we can see the page pair 820/821 of the Globe Illustrated Shakespeare, with illustrations from Henry V.

Star Trek: Insurrection

Several years later, in Picard's quarters on the Enterprise-E, we can see the Globe Illustrated Shakespeare again. Only with with the help of the Blu-ray disc I could identify the pages 1110/1111 (two illustrations from Henry VI, Part II) and 1346/1347 (two illustrations from Measure for Measure).

PIC: Remembrance

Still many years later, we can spot the Globe Illustrated Shakespeare in Picard's quantum archives in PIC: "Remembrance". The page pair 778/779 is visible, with an illustration from All's Well That Ends Well.

PIC: The Star Gazer

Pages 1220/1221 can be seen in Picard's study in PIC: "The Star Gazer", behind the also opened Annotated Shakespeare vol. II. The illustration depicts a scene from Timon of Athens.

A photo from the pitch for the Emmys by Dave Blass shows the same book but a different page (from Richard III).

PIC: The Next Generation

We can see pages 1058/1059 in PIC: "The Next Generation", with depictions from Henry VI, part I, act III, scene II.


The Annotated Shakespeare
Edited by A. L. Rowse, published by Clarkson N. Potter, Inc., distributed by Crown Publishers, Inc.

Beginning with "Arsenal of Freedom" (and prior to that in Picard's quarters in "The Battle") the Annotated Shakespeare could be seen in the ready room. This book is different from the Globe Illustrated Shakespeare in that it contains not only illustrations from a single artist (John Gilbert) but from various artists and also photos. This is how a number of famous Shakespeare actors were immortalized in Star Trek.

In 1978 the book was released in three volumes in a slipcase. The first two volumes of this edition were visible in TNG. In 1984 Greenwich House released all three volumes in a thick hardcover book. This one has pages as thin as in the Globe Illustrated Shakespeare. This edition never appeared on Star Trek, however.

In the first three seasons of TNG we can see exclusively vol. I (The Comedies). As it was with the Globe Illustrated Shakespeare too, all pages that we can see on screen can be found in the middle part of the book.

Some of the pages from the Annotated Shakespeare have not yet been identified: "Allegiance", "Devil's Due" (Picard's quarters), "Qpid", "The Perfect Mate" (Picard's quarters), "I, Borg" (Picard's quarters) and "Second Chances".


Appearances of The Annotated Shakespeare - Volume I

The Battle

As mentioned above the Annotated Shakespeare appears for the first time in Picard's quarters in "The Battle". Here we can see the double page 328/329. It shows a full-page illustration of The Merchant of Venice.

Angel One

We can see the page pair 264/265, containing three illustrations from A Midsummer Night's Dream. A few years later, these pages would reappear in "The Wounded", "Devil's Due" and "Interface".

The Arsenal of Freedom

The book shows up in Picard's quarters. We can see the page pair 284/285. These are the first two pages on The Merchant of Venice. The same pages appear again in "We'll Always Have Paris" and "The Child". It seems no one touched the book between the end of the first and the beginning of the second season.

The Schizoid Man

A new double page is visible: 344/345, each with an illustration of As You Like It. The same two pages can be seen later in "Loud as a Whisper", "The Measure of a Man" and "Contagion".

Time Squared

The next new double page is 346/347, which shows two new illustrations of As You Like It. This double page would reappear years later in "Unification, Part I", "Conundrum" and "Violations".

The Icarus Factor

As already in "The Arsenal of Freedom", "We'll Always Have Paris" and "The Child", the pages 284/285 from The Merchant of Venice are shown, although different pages have appeared in the meantime.

Pen Pals

We can see pages 382/383, again about As You Like It. This is the first time that we see a photo, which depicts the actors Ronald Pickup und Jeremy Brett (later famed for Sherlock Holmes). The same pages can also be spotted in "Manhunt", "Peak Performance", "The Ensigns of Command" and "Evolution". Once again the pages were not turned between the seasons.


As already mentioned, the pages 382/383 are opened in "Manhunt". Even in HD, we can hardly recognize the particular page 383 because the upper half of the photo on the upper right was covered. This may have been done to avoid copyright trouble as the depicted actors Ronald Pickup and Jeremy Brett were still alive when the episode was filmed. Yet, the photo was more clearly visible in other episodes.

The Survivors

We can finally see a new double page: 410/411. These pages about Much Ado About Nothing also appear in "The Bonding".

The Price

The pages visible in this episode are 502/503, depicting illustrations from Twelfth Night. The same appear in "The Defector".

The Hunted

In "The Hunted", "Déjà Q" and "A Matter of Perspective" we can see the pages 412/413. The illustrations belong to Much Ado About Nothing. The photo on the right shows Alan Howard (noted as the voice of the Ring in the first and third parts of the Lord of the Rings films) in his role as Benedick.

The Offspring

As already mentioned, an illustration of A Midsummer Night's Dream is visible. It can be found on the pages 236/237, only in this episode.

Sins of the Father

We can still see the pages 236/237 from A Midsummer Night's Dream, as already in "The Offspring". In the SD version, a bit more of the book is visible because the frames were cropped considerably in the remastering process of this one episode.


For the first time since "Pen Pals" we can see a book in Picard's quarters. I could not find the right pages, however. The paper indicates that it can't be the Globe Illustrated Shakespeare any more. It could be the Annotated Shakespeare or a yet unknown book.


There are two different double pages in the ready room in this episode, but they can't be be seen clearly. Pages 350/351 will be visible much better in "First Contact" and 354/355 in "Qpid".

Once again there is also a book in Picard's quarters in "Sarek". This is the first time that I could positively identify a page from vol. II of the Annotated Shakespeare. It is very likely that the book from "Allegiance" is this second volume too. More about this volume further below.

Ménage à Troi

We can see a new double page: 356/357. This one shows the stage design of As You Like It. The same pages are also visible in "The Best of Both Worlds I".

The Best of Both Worlds II

When Guinan takes place in Picard's chair, we can briefly spot the double page 322/323 with two images from The Merchant of Venice.

Suddenly Human

A new double page can be seen. It is the pages 286/287, which has two depictions from The Merchant of Venice. This double page can be seen a few years later in Data's quarters, in "Force of Nature".

Data's Day

This episode shows the by far most frequently seen double page for the first time: 256/257. These pages show two actors as characters in A Midsummer Night's Dream. On the left there is Olivia de Havilland as Hermia (from the 1935 film by Max Reinhardt), on the right Robert Helpmann as Oberon. This same pages are also visible in "Clues", "Galaxy's Child", "The Nth Degree", "The Drumhead", "The Host", The Game", "New Gorund", "The Outcast", "Cause and Effect", "The First Duty", "I, Borg", "Time's Arrow, Part I", "Relics", "Rascals" and "Suspicions" in the ready room, plus in "Inheritance" in Data's quarters.

The Wounded

We can see a double page, which also appears in "Angel One", "Devil's Due" and "Interface". It is the page pair 264/265, containing three illustrations from A Midsummer Night's Dream.

First Contact

In this episode (not the movie of the same name!) we can see pages 350/351. They contain two depictions from As You Like It and reappears in "Half a Life".

Night Terrors

In this episode and in "Hero Worship" we can see the pages 322/323, as already briefly in "The Best of Both Worlds II". They contain two images from The Merchant of Venice.


This episode, as well as "Silicon Avatar", "True Q" and "Descent, Part I", shows a very special double page. On page 354/355 there is one illustration and one photo from As You Like It. On the photo there are Janet Suzman as Rosalind, Rowena Cooper as Celia und no one else but Patrick Stewart as Touchstone! So Patrick Stewart's existence is canon in the Star Trek Universe, and his image is present in Picard's ready room all the time.

Interestingly, the same page of the same book can be seen in Picard's quarters in this episode.

The Drumhead

In the middle of "The Drumhead" someone must have turned the pages. We initially see the already mentioned pages 256/257, but later 512/513. The latter show two illustrations from Twelfth Night.

The Mind's Eye

We can see the double page 340/341, the first ones about As You Like It.

In Theory

The pages are 178/179, the first ones about Love's Labour's Lost.

Ensign Ro

The visible pages are 272/273, with an illustration about A Midsummer Night's Dream.

A Matter of Time

Berlinghoff Rasmussen studies the book, which at this time shows pages 414/415 with two costume sketches from Much Ado About Nothing.

The Perfect Mate

In this episode and "I, Borg" the pages 276/277 with images about A Midsummer Night's Dream are visible. In "I, Borg", moreover, the pages change in the course of the episode. Most of the time we can see the already known pages 256/257.

Beginning with "Man of the People" we can see pages from the second volume of the Annotated Shakespeare in the ready room. In the following episodes the two volumes appear alternatingly. The appearances of the second volume will be investigated further down.

The Quality of Life

This episode and "Chain of Command, Part I" show the pages 262/263 in the ready room. They contain two photos from the 1935 film version of A Midsummer Night's Dream, and one illustration. On the photos we can see the following actors: Ross Alexander, Dick Powell, Jean Muir, Olivia de Havilland and Mickey Rooney (as Puck). Only in the HD version, the book appears to be overexposed.

Chain of Command, Part I

We can see the cover of vol. I, as Jellico returns the book to Picard. Vol. II can be seen in Picard's quarters, as described below.

Chain of Command, Part II

When Commander Riker is reading in Picard's Shakespeare book (according to the screenplay) in his quarters in "Chain of Command, Part II", it is the same that was removed from the ready room in the preceding episode. Riker turns the pages 348/349, 350/351 and 352/353. All these contain illustrations from As You Like It. We can see the cover of the book well.

Later in the same episode, when Picard has returned to the Enterprise, vol. I is at its previous place in the showcase in the ready room again. We can see pages 306/307 with illustration of The Merchant of Venice.

Face of the Enemy

We can see the pages 380/381. Once again we are looking at illustrations from As You Like It.

In this episode we are shown vol. I for the last time on TNG. On all later occasions in the series we see vol. II of the book, in the ready room as well as in Picard's quarters.

PIC: The Star Gazer

Many years later, pages 386/387 of vol. I can be seen in PIC: "The Star Gazer". They depict As You Like It, Act V, Scene IV. The other two volumes are visible too, in the small shelf underneath the opened book.

PIC: The Next Generation

We can see the pages 380/381, as already in "Face of the Enemy", the last time this volume appeared on TNG.


Appearances of The Annotated Shakespeare - Volume II


As already mentioned vol. II is identifiable for the first time in "Sarek" in Picard's quarters. We see the pages 376/377 with illustrations from King John.

Suddenly Human

The book is still on the shelf in this episode. We can see the double page 368/369, with two illustrations, also from King John.


The book appears on the small table next to the door for the first time. We see pages 364/365, again from King John.

Devil's Due

This is the second time that we can see the book on the small table beside the door. I could not identify the pages, however.


We can see the book in Picard's quarters yet again. The visible pages contain almost entirely text, so an identification is practically impossible.

The Perfect Mate

Also in this episode the identification of the pages is a hopeless endeavor.

I, Borg

Same book, same place, and once again no positive identification.

Man of the People

Vol. II of the Annotated Shakespeare appears for the first time in the ready room. We see the pages 354/355, the first two ones about King John.


The book appears in Picard's quarters. The pages are 350/351, once again with illustrations of King John. The same double page appears in "Lower Decks", this time in the ready room, however.

Chain of Command, Part I

This episode shows a double page from vol. II in Picard's quarters that will frequently reappear in later episodes. It is the double page 382/383, containing two illustrations and one photo from King John. The photo depicts Louis Calvert as Cardinal Pandulph. This double page is visible again in Picard's quarters in "Lessons" and "The Chase". It will also be shown in the ready room in "Homeward", "Masks", "Eye of the Beholder" and "All Good Things" (in the "present" scenes of the latter episode).

The Pegasus

The pages 412/413 can be seen in the quarters. They have illustrations from Henry IV, Part I. It is interesting to note that the same page seems to appear in the quarters as well as the ready room.

Sub Rosa

We can see the pages 322/323 for the first time. They show illustrations to Richard II and reappear in "Genesis", "Bloodlines", "Emergence" and "Preemptive Strike".

Journey's End

This episode shows us the pages 378/379. On these two pages we can see four illustrations, all from King John.

Star Trek: Generations

The last time that we see new pages from the volume is in the movie "Generations". We can see the pages 396/397 with two images from King John.


Appearances of The Annotated Shakespeare - Volume III

PIC: The Star Gazer

Volume III of The Annotated Shakespeare never appears until the PIC season 2 premiere "The Star Gazer". As already mentioned, the other two volumes of the book and the slip case can be seen underneath the opened tome (volume I).


Other Books

Picard's gift(s) to Data

Sometimes a prop can tell a story. This story is a bit complicated, but as we track the appearances of a specific book that originally belonged to Captain Picard, it makes a lot of sense.

In "The Battle", we see six books on a shelf in Picard's quarters that seem to belong together because they all have the same binding. They are brown, have a red rectangle on their back with golden letters and stripes, and a golden number in the middle. These books don't reappear in "Angel One" and "Where Silence Has Lease". Picard reads in volume III of this series in "Unnatural Selection". We can see the golden pages of the book. The title is covered with black tape, probably because it was not supposed to be readable.

In "The Measure of a Man", Maddox and later Picard hold a book that, as Data testifies, he received from Picard as a gift. It belongs to the same series, so we may assume Picard actually gave Data a book of his six-volume set from his quarters! This time, almost the entire red field is covered in black, again so that we can't see the title. I assume this isn't a Shakespeare book. If we look closely (with a moving image), we can recognize that it is volume IV.

In "Samaritan Snare", Picard takes another book of the series (without a black cover, but number not visible) on his shuttle trip with Wesley.

A different book can be seen in Data's quarters as Geordi and Wesley take care of his heritage after his presumed death in "The Most Toys". It is all-red with an embossed title. This book is The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Comprising His Plays and Poems, Also the History of His Life, His Will and an Introduction to Each Play, with a contribution on the Shakespeare and Bacon controversy by Sir Henry Irving. Wesley explicitly mentions that it comes from Picard. Picard later opens this book and reads from Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 2: "He was a man, taken for all in all. I shall not look upon his like again."

The real-life reason for using this different book in "The Most Toys" may be that it contained the very quote from Hamlet, and that the brown one may not have been about Shakespeare at all. From an in-universe perspective, perhaps Data returned the first book in exchange for this one?

And indeed, in season 6 the book with the black tape is back in Picard's quarters in two episodes ("Rascals" and "A Fistful of Datas") next to an unmodified book of the series. It probably wasn't the intention to insinuate just that, but we may conclude that the captain got back the very same book from "The Measure of a Man"!

Decades later, after Data's actual death, the red book appears yet again in Picard's possession in PIC: "The Star Gazer". We can barely make it out on his desk. A photo from the Emmy portfolio by Dave Blass confirms it really is the same book, even with the purple bookmark.

Data's other books

Aside from the two appearances of the book in Data's quarters in "Inheritance" and "Force of Nature", we can see a smaller book in "Masks" and "Genesis", both times with the same pages.

Books in "Generations"

In "Generations" there are unknown books in Data's as well as in Picard's quarters (besides the family album). It is not possible to identify any of these.

Books in "Nemesis"

Finally, in "Nemesis" there is a book in Picard's ready room. This is apparently neither the Globe Illustrated Shakespeare nor the Annotated Shakespeare.


See Also

The Trophies in Picard's Quantum Archive - identification and description of the trophies visible in PIC: "Remembrance"



Most HD screen caps from Trek Caps.


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