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The Vincent First Folio

Henry Folger collected seventy-nine copies of the First Folio—the first printed collection of Shakespeare’s plays, without which eighteen of the plays would otherwise have been lost. The copy of which Henry Folger was proudest was this one, the Vincent copy. 


It’s inscribed at the upper right edge of the title page by its first owner, Augustine Vincent, with a note that he had received it from the printer, William Jaggard. The Vincent Folio is a particularly fine copy that Folger thought (probably wrongly) might have been the very first First Folio off the press. He liked to call it "the most precious book in the world."


A London bookseller first found the Vincent Folio in 1891 in a dusty stack of books piled in the coach house of one Coningsby C. Sibthorp of Canwick Hall in Lincolnshire, from whom Henry Folger later acquired it.

Shakespeare. Plays. 1623. London, 1623

To learn more about the Folger's extensive collections online, click here.
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Infinite Variety
To find similar stories about other items from the Folger collection, look for Infinite Variety: Exploring the Folger Shakespeare Library.

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