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Folger First Folio 54

Detail of printed page showing horizontal printer's ornament above

The Hutchinson Copy

This First Folio was acquired by the Hutchinson family in the mid 17th century—a family that included Colonel John Hutchinson, who played an important role during the English Civil War, and his wife Lucy, a writer and translator. The First Folio remained in the Hutchinson family until 1913, when Henry and Emily Folger acquired it for $3,950.

This copy includes extensive early notes on character lists and identification of scene locations for several plays. In the mid-1800s, Captain Charles Hutchinson had it rebound and supplied some of its missing leaves from other sources. Six of the nine introductory leaves, however, are missing, along with two leaves in the plays The Tempest and Cymbeline. Hutchinson also added materials to the First Folio that were related to his family’s history, reflecting his belief that Colonel John Hutchinson and Lucy Hutchinson had personally owned the book. Scholars continue to recover Lucy Hutchinson’s own place in literary history and explore the thread of ownership in this family.

See its book binding

Explore its catalog entry

View in the digital image collection

See where it traveled on tour in 2016


Folger copy 54: The First Folio as family scrapbook
Shakespeare and Beyond

Folger copy 54: The First Folio as family scrapbook

Kathleen Lynch

One the First Folio’s owners, Captain Charles Hutchinson, clearly valued the book as a reflection on his family’s place in English history. Not only did he restore it, but he also treated it as a scrapbook of sorts, working in details and documents related to his family history.