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Flogging folios

For the second time in three years, an institutional library is selling off a copy of Shakespeare's first folio. As libraries increasingly place their antiquarian books online, could this signal the beginning of a trend?

By Jim McCue   April 2006

Sotheby’s has announced that it is to auction a copy of the first folio of Shakespeare, which is expected to fetch £2.5-£3.5m. The 1623 first folio is probably the most important book in English literature, and this copy, which is in especially fine condition, is of particular interest because it contains early annotations.

The sale is significant because the annotations, probably dating from within 50 years of the book’s publication, have never been fully studied…

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