All the World’s One Page: Shakespeare’s first folio sells for $2.4 million

A rare copy of William Shakespeare’s first folio sold for $2.4 million.

Printed 1623, the book titled Mr. William Shakespeare’s Comedies, Stories and Tragedies, compiles 36 pieces of the bard. The copy went on sale Thursday at Sotheby’s in New York.

In his listing, the text was described as “the most important book in English literature”. They estimated that of the 750 copies originally printed, only 232 have survived. Most remain in public libraries and museums, but 20 copies – including this one – are privately owned.

Curated by Shakespeare’s colleagues John Heminges and Henry Condell, the 400-year-old book contains 18 plays that had not previously been printed, including Macbeth, Twelfth Night and The storm.

Since no contemporary manuscripts of Shakespeare’s plays survive, it is believed that without the text – what scholars call the first folio – half of his plays would have been lost. The book’s cover states that the lyrics were “published from the true original copies”.

It includes an engraved portrait of Shakespeare and tributes to writer Ben Jonson and other supporters.

The folio was published seven years after Shakespeare’s death at the age of 52.

(© Independent News Service)

https://www.independent.ie/world-news/all-the-worlds-a-page-shakespeares-first-folio-sells-for-24m-41861417.html All the World’s One Page: Shakespeare’s first folio sells for $2.4 million

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