A woman passionate
about her books
frances wolfereston, hor bouk in STC 16873 c.2.
Sir William Lower. The Phaenix in her flames: a tragedy. London,
Thomas Harper, 1639.
(1607-1677) grew up in the English Midlands the eldest of twenty-two children,
became the wife of a country squire, and in the course of her lifetime
quietly acquired some of the greatest rarities of early English drama
and literature. She had a library of over 400 volumes and almost all have
her signature, frances wolfreston, hor bouk carefully written with
a thick quill pen.
in drama and contemporary English literature may have been unusual for
her time. She had no less than ten Shakespeare quartos, a copy of the
Rape of Lucrece (1616), and history is indebted to her for the
first edition of Venus and Adonis (1593), a unique copy later owned
by Edmund Malone and now in the Bodleian Library.