On 7 July 2022 a replica of Shakespeare’s First Folio will likely be bought in New York. It’s estimated that it’s going to promote for “only” $2.5 million. The record-holder is the copy bought, once more in New York, in October 2020 which went for $8.4 million (£6.4 million). This was full, and in distinctive situation. It was purchased by a personal collector. The one being bought now is just not full, missing the portrait of Shakespeare, and exhibits indicators of being learn over an extended interval. The ebook has spent most of its life in Scotland. The Gordon household acquired the copy quickly after its publication in 1623 then it handed by a number of different arms earlier than being bought to a bibliophile in Chicago within the Nineteen Sixties.
Fine Books Magazine’s informative article consists of details about the quantity:
there are 17th-century manuscript annotations, doodles, ink spills and markings throughout over 30 pages in not less than 5 completely different arms, largely from the Gordon household… Three members wrote their names: John Gordon (not less than 5 occasions), Joan Gordon (twice) and Alex Gordon (as soon as), a standard apply all through historical past. There are fragments of prayers, verse and even mysterious strains from a a “John Frasere”, a speech asking for Herculean power “to beat him That let my love be stolen away when I was sliping”.
Modern readers may be stunned to search out that these manuscript additions in such a worthwhile ebook solely hardly ever relate on to Shakespeare’s work.
Public collections are unlikely to have enough funds to buy First Folios so it’s doubtless that this one will stay in non-public arms. Around a 3rd of present copies are within the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, bought by rich oil-man Henry Clay Folger earlier than the inspiration of the Library. In latest years the Folger Shakespeare Library has made its collections of Folios out there to extra folks by sending copies out on tour across the USA.
Folger was obsessive about amassing Shakespeare-related materials together with Folios, and from the Eighteen Nineties spent over thirty years chasing them down. Book sellers figuring out of his curiosity will need to have been thrilled to amass a First Folio. The Shakespeare Club of Stratford-upon-Avon’s May assembly was a dramatized presentation as regards to Captain William Jaggard who opened a bookshop, The Shakespeare Press, in Stratford, and his son Gerald who proceed to run it after William’s dying. I’ve written earlier than about Jaggard. The organisers of the occasion have been Jaggard’s grandchildren Andy Jaggard and Anthea Carter who at the moment are engaged on a ebook that can inform the story of their “remarkable, difficult and eccentric” ancestor and his store. Jaggard turned well-known to skilled Shakespeareans together with Sidney Lee although he fell out with locals. One of the numerous tales they advised was about Jaggard’s try and promote Henry Clay Folger a replica of the First Folio. Andy and Anthea had no proof of the reality of this story that they’d been advised till lately when the Folger Shakespeare Library uncovered a collection of letters between Henry Clay Folger and William Jaggard shedding gentle on the negotiations which, sadly for Jaggard, got here to nothing.
The Shakespeare Press, managed by William, then by his son Gerald, was a notable ingredient of the Stratford-upon-Avon scene from 1910 to 1964. The constructing in Sheep Street remained empty for a number of years earlier than being utterly restored, and it’s now the Vintner Restaurant.
I’ve written posts about varied elements of the First Folio earlier than:
This about copies of all 4 Folios present in a Warwickshire home
This concerning the concern of promoting Folios on the whole
This concerning the catalogues which have been created of all of the copies of the First Folios
This one concerning the significance of Libraries holding copies of the Folio
Finally, In this video you possibly can see the copy of the Folio being bought in July 2022.