New Historic Discovery; One for the Books...Or Stage

Even if you are not a theatre major, or even interested in the dramatic arts, you've come across Shakespeare at some point in your education.  Whether it was that production of Romeo and Juliet you were forced to perform in 9th grade or the Scottish play which you read in college, it's quite difficult to escape the works of Shakespeare.

What is quite harder to find than the work of Shakespeare, are the First Folios which are arguably the most important books in English literature.  The First Folio was edited by fellow actors and is credited with being the way Shakespeare's work survived as it is the only source for 18 of his plays, including Macbeth.  Historians believe that 800 copies were originally produced, of which 233 are still in existence (in varying states of array).  One of the last copies sold at auction collected 3.6m pounds when adjusted for inflation.





The newest discovery was found in a library in Saint-Omer as librarians prepared for an exhibition on the historic links between their region and England.


The folio has several pages missing, including the title page, and librarians believe that this may have led to the book being cataloged as an unexceptional old edition.  What makes the First Folio so valuable are the potential for handwritten notes from actors which give clues into how the plays were performed during Shakespeare's time.  Currently, the book is being reviewed by Professor Eric Rasmussen of the University of Nevada who is one of the world's foremost authorities on Shakespeare.




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