Thursday, March 30, 2006

If I had a million dollars...

Okay, more like six million, but the very sight of this makes me shiver:

This is an honest-to-God 17th Century, complete edition of Shakespeare's First Folio. It goes up for auction at Sotheby's in July. This book is the reason we can savour plays like Macbeth today (okay, did I really just write "savour" with a u? Does it even have a "u" in American English, or am I starting to suffer from UK English syndrome?). Anyway, Macbeth, Twelfth Night, Julius Caesar...all of these only survived because a handful of the 250 copies of the First Folio made it down through the ages, harbored by literature lovers. The best thing about this copy is that there are notes -- notes!! -- from 17th Century readers in the margins, which means you actually get to see how Shakespeare's works were interpreted in his own time.

I am just drooling with envy...maybe if I showed up at Sotheby's and looked really, really pathetic, they'd let me look at it. To be in its presence...I'm serious. This is the absolute pinnacle of English major nerdiness. The very thought of its existence makes me quiver (no, I'm really not kidding). I hope the British Library buys it; I'd gladly make a pilgrimage by Tube to bask in its presence for a few happy hours.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

this is a wonderful book