A New First Folio Discovery

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Shakespeare Unlimited: Episode 17

"As truth's authentic author to be cited,
'As true as Troilus' shall crown up the verse"
Troilus and Cressida (3.2.182–183) 

In the fall of 2014, the world learned of a remarkable discovery: An old book in a French library, acquired in the 1790s, was identified as an unknown copy of the 1623 First Folio of Shakespeare—the first collection of Shakespeare's plays. Before this find, there were 232 known First Folios in the entire world. Now, there are 233.

Rebecca Sheir, host of the Shakespeare Unlimited podcast series, talks with Eric Rasmussen, who authenticated the French discovery. An expert on the First Folio, Rasmussen gets the call when someone, anywhere in the world, thinks they may have found another copy.

Along the way, he's amassed some fascinating stories and observations about one of the world's most iconic rare books. Join us for a conversation about the French First Folio, other distinctive copies, and the modern collectors, scholars, thieves, and Folio hunters who fall under the First Folio's spell.

Eric Rasmussen is chair of the English department at the University of Nevada, Reno, and author of The Shakespeare First Folios: A Descriptive Catalogue.

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From the Shakespeare Unlimited podcast series. © December 17, 2014. Folger Shakespeare Library. All rights reserved. 

Produced for the Folger Shakespeare Library by Richard Paul. Garland Scott is the associate producer. Edited by Gail Kern Paster and Esther Ferington.

We also had help from A.J. Kenneson at radio station KUNR in Reno, Nevada.

 

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Want more? Browse our full list of Shakespeare Unlimited episodes. Listen on SoundCloud, iTunes, Google Play, and NPR One.