The Shakespeare Thefts

In Search of the First Folios by Eric Rasmussen

  • Published: Sep 04, 2020

Part literary detective story, part Shakespearean lore, The Shakespeare Thefts will charm the Bard's many fans. The first edition of Shakespeare's collected works, the First Folio, published in 1623, is one of the most valuable books in the world... read more

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Details of The Shakespeare Thefts

Exact title of the book
The Shakespeare Thefts
Book author
Eric Rasmussen
ISBN
9780230341203
Publisher
St. Martin's Publishing Group
Published
Oct 11, 2011
Language
English
Format
PDF, FB2, EPUB, MOBI
Pages
240
File size (in PDF)
2160 kB

Some brief overview of book

Part literary detective story, part Shakespearean lore, The Shakespeare Thefts will charm the Bard's many fans. The first edition of Shakespeare's collected works, the First Folio, published in 1623, is one of the most valuable books in the world and has historically proven to be an attractive target for thieves. Of the 160 First Folios listed in a census of 1902, 14 were subsequently stolen-and only two of these were ever recovered.

In his efforts to catalog all these precious First Folios, renowned Shakespeare scholar Eric Rasmussen embarked on a riveting journey around the globe, involving run-ins with heavily tattooed criminal street gangs in Tokyo, bizarre visits with eccentric, reclusive billionaires, and intense battles of wills with secretive librarians. He explores the intrigue surrounding the Earl of Pembroke, arguably Shakespeare's boyfriend, to whom the First Folio is dedicated and whose personal copy is still missing. He investigates the uncanny sequence of events in which a wealthy East Coast couple drowned in a boating accident and the next week their First Folio appeared for sale in Kansas.

We hear about Folios that were censored, the pages ripped out of them, about a volume that was marked in red paint-or is it blood?-on every page; and of yet another that has a bullet lodged in its pages.

About author

Rasmussen is department chair and professor of English at the University of Nevada. He is co-editor of the RSC Complete Works of William Shakespeare, the Norton Anthology of English Renaissance Drama, and of the works of Christopher Marlowe in the Oxford World's Classics series as well as individual plays in the Arden Shakespeare series, the Revels Plays series, and the Malone Society series. Since 1997, he has written the annual review of editions and textual studies for Shakespeare Survey.

He lives in Reno, Nevada.

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