The Book of William

The Book of William

How Shakespeare's First Folio Conquered the World

Book - 2009
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The first popular narrative history of Shakespeare's First Folio, the world's most obsessively pursued book.

One book above all others has transfixed connoisseurs for four centuries--a book sold for shillings in the streets of London, whisked to Manhattan for millions, and stored deep within the vaults of Tokyo. The book: William Shakespeare's First Folio of 1623. Paul Collins, lover of odd books and author of the national bestseller Sixpence House , takes up the strange quest for this white whale of precious books.

Broken down into five acts, each tied to a different location and century, The Book of William 's travelogue follows the trail of the Folio's curious rise: a dizzying S otheby's auction on a pristine copy preserved since the seventeenth century, the Fleet Street machinations of the eighteenth century, the nineteenth century quests for lost Folios, obsessive acquisitions by twentieth century oilmen, and the high-tech hoards of twenty-first century Japan. Finally, Collins speculates on Shakespeare's cross-cultural future as Asian buyers enter their Folios into the electronic ether, and recounts the book's remarkable journey as it is found in attics, gets lost in oceans and fires, is bought and sold, and ultimately becomes immortal.

Publisher: New York : Bloomsbury, c2009
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781596911956
Branch Call Number: 822.331 C695b
Characteristics: 246p


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ser_library Feb 04, 2012

written in a conversational style

i learned much

Jun 11, 2010

Wow! What an engaging book about a book! Collins follows the literary journey of the efforts, rivalries and gigantic personalities involved in collecting and publishing Shakespeare's plays and the subsequent revisions and editions. Then, we follow the paths of these first folios take as they become the most collected books in the world to the current efforts to make books like it available digitally. Fascinating on so many levels?a must read for Shakespeare fans, book lovers and for those interested in the book trade. It's truly a page turner.

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