Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Shakespeare's First Folio Recovered

As reported in the Guardian, a 51-year-old man has been arrested in England for stealing a rare first folio edition of Shakespeare's plays, printed in 1623. The "priceless" book (only 200-300 survive) disappeared from Durham University over a decade ago in December 1998. It resurfaced when the suspect, "claiming to be an international businessman who had acquired the volume in Cuba, [] showed the folio to staff at a library in Washington, DC and asked them to verify it was genuine."

Bill Bryson, chancellor of Durham University and author of a book on Shakespeare, commented: "Like Shakespeare himself, this book is a national treasure, giving a rare and beautiful snapshot of Britain's incredible literary heritage. I'll certainly be joining the crowds who will be eagerly welcoming it home."

In addition to the folio, an early English translation of the New Testament, a fragment of a poem by Geoffrey Chaucer, a Beowulf edition printed in 1815, and two rare editions of the Old English epic by the 10th century scholar Aelfric were also taken on the same occasion. A police spokesman has confirmed that, while "a large number of old books and documents" have been discovered, it remains uncertain whether those documents include the other rare documents stolen from Durham along with the folio.

1 comment:

Serena said...

wow...I had no idea that this had been stolen...interesting that he thought he could have it verified and then sell it without anyone noticing.