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copy fo shakespeare's first folio sold for US$!0 million. and the 1611.

billy rubin

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https://www.cnn.com/style/article/shakespeare-first-folio-auction/index.html

a private copy of shakespeare's first folio has just been sold at christie's for ten million bucks to someone who has that kind of money to pay for an old book.

i'm always interested in shakespeare's work, specifically the first folio, because there isn't a single one.

at the time of the printing around 1623, what constituted a "book" was fluid. a "folio" was a piece of paper with two pages printed on each side, folded appropriately to make a four-sheet pamphlet, or a book composed by stitching a bunch of these together. so each sheet out of the printing machine was two presses and four pages.

what is interesting is that at the time, proofreaders would look at a sheet for errors or alterations and make running changes as they went along. nobody threw away previous sheets after the corrected or changed them-- they just went on with the binding using what they had.

as a result, iirc, there isn't a single surviving copy of shakespeare's first folio that completely matches any other copy-- all of them are different-- some by a typo correction, others by different lines for the actors to recite.

this is exactly the same for the for the first authorized printings of the 1611 james bible. there isn't a single copy, with a consistent text. the surviving copies are all diferent, and all valid. corrections, additions, and deletions to the text made as running changes during the printings. like shakespeare, th e1611 was printed in folio form, and was sold both bound and looseleaf.

because of the expense of books at the time, they were frequently repaired when damaged with leaves from different printings. so any old 1611 english bible might have different leaves based on teh day or week of its printng, or resulting from repairs using old leaves from other books that were avaialble for spare parts.

this makes a difference when you talk to biblical inerrantists who claim that the exact wording of their KJV is important (here isn't any original source). but it also makes shakespeare interesting as well, because there isn't any original copy of macbeth around either.

not because none survived, but becuase none ever existed.


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Randy

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Re: copy fo shakespeare's first folio sold for US$!0 million. and the 1611.
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2020, 05:03:26 PM »
That's quite interesting. It's like me trying to find an original program I wrote that worked. Nope, the one I found had been modified and introduced some interesting bugs. I thought I'd pull it out of moth balls and play with it. Instead I've got to fix the blasted thing.

I got side tracked there but I see what you mean about no existing copies because there never were any of the first copy.
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billy rubin

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Re: copy fo shakespeare's first folio sold for US$!0 million. and the 1611.
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2020, 09:19:31 PM »
interestingly, sometimes there may have been more than one first copy.

some people maintain (its disputed) that old manuscripts were sometimes dictated in duplicate to a room of scribes each writing down a different copy. so on a given afternoon, a letter might have two or more different original versions, depending on what the scribe heard and how faithfully he transcribed it.

some people assert that the new testament letter to romans was actually a form letter that had different minor texts depending on which copy you received.

or that the discrepancies in th ebook of luke were because more than one original existed and was distributed.

nobody knows. not an issue unless you are asserting that the exact accuracy is important.

with shakespeare, though, its more a comment on the evolution of printing


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Ecurb Noselrub

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Re: copy fo shakespeare's first folio sold for US$!0 million. and the 1611.
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2020, 05:00:02 PM »
It is still held by many that Shakespeare did not exist or did not write what he wrote.  Same for Homer.  Me, I generally take it as it has come down to us, acknowledging that we will never know exactly what or who happened.