Rare copy of Shakespeare’s first folio from 1623 sold for £2 million

A rare copy of William Shakespeare’s first folio sold for $2.4m (£2m).

Printed in 1623, the book entitled ‘ Mr. William Shakespeare’s Comedies, Stories and TragediesAssemble 36 of the Bard’s pieces.

On Thursday (July 21) a copy of the first folio was sold 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.

As no contemporary manuscripts of Shakespeare’s plays survive, it is believed that without the text – known as the first folio by scholars – half of his plays would have been lost.

“All Well That Ends Well” appears in the folio

(Sotheby’s)

The book’s cover states that the lyrics “were published according to the true original copies”.

It contains an engraved portrait of Shakespeare and tributes from Ben Jonson and other supporters.

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

https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/theatre-dance/news/shakespeare-first-folio-sothebys-auction-b2128929.html Rare copy of Shakespeare’s first folio from 1623 sold for £2 million

JOE HERNANDEZ

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