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Folger First Folio 50

Detail of printed page showing horizontal printer's ornament above

Several leaves in the plays As You Like It and King Lear bear stage directions, notes, and revisions, suggesting that this First Folio belonged to a director or an editor. Until the early 1900s, the existence of this copy of the First Folio was unrecorded; it does not appear in Sidney Lee’s Census of the Shakespeare First Folios (1902). Henry and Emily Folger purchased it for $7,500 in 1912.

Of special interest, one of the leaves in Romeo and Juliet includes original proofreader’s marks. At the same time, this First Folio, like many others, has missing leaves. The first leaf, Ben Jonson’s “To the Reader,” is missing and was supplied in facsimile. At least five other leaves were replaced with original leaves from other First Folios.

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View in the digital image collection

See where it traveled on tour in 2016