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Download The Shakespeare Thefts: In Search of the First Folios eBook

by Eric Rasmussen

Download The Shakespeare Thefts: In Search of the First Folios eBook
ISBN:
0230341675
Author:
Eric Rasmussen
Category:
History & Criticism
Language:
English
Publisher:
St. Martin's Griffin; Reprint edition (October 30, 2012)
Pages:
240 pages
EPUB book:
1810 kb
FB2 book:
1539 kb
DJVU:
1327 kb
Other formats
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Rating:
4.8
Votes:
804


Of the 160 First Folios listed in a census of 1902, 14 were subsequently stolen-and only two of these were ever recovered

Of the 160 First Folios listed in a census of 1902, 14 were subsequently stolen-and only two of these were ever recovered. In his efforts to catalog all these precious First Folios, renowned Shakespeare scholar Eric Rasmussen embarked on a riveting journey around the globe, involving run-ins with heavily tattooed criminal street gangs in Tokyo, bizarre visits with eccentric, reclusive billionaires, and intense battles of wills with secretive librarians.

Every marginal note, bookmark, stain, and so on has now been recorded. As Rasmussen notes, one unintended consequence of this effort is that stealing a First Folio with the hope of later selling it as a newly discovered copy is now less likely to be profitable because all known copies are so well documented.

The Shakespeare Thefts book. He explores the intrigue surrounding the Earl of Pembroke, arguably Shakespeare's boyfriend, to whom the First Folio is dedicated and whose personal copy is still missing.

Eric Rasmussen, who with a team of fellow scholars is engaged in tracking and examining every known copy of Shakespeare's First Folio, has unearthed wonderful anecdotes of theft, fraud, and the peculiar mania of passionate bibliophiles. Stephen Greenblatt, author of Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare. Shakespeare's First Folio contains thirty-six plays of wit, passion, crime, and folly.

Of the 160 First Folios listed in a census of 1902, 14 were subsequently stolen-and only two of these were ever recovered.

The Shakespeare Thefts - Eric Rasmussen. Additional praise for. The shakespeare thefts. Like a Shakespearean play, we uncovered a fascinating world between the covers of one of the world’s most expensive printed books, one populated with thieves, masterminds, fools, and eccentrics, all of whom have risked fortunes and reputations to possess a coveted First Folio. Chapter one. The most hated man in england.

The Shakespeare Thefts. St. Martin's Griffin. Of the 160 First Folios listed in a census of 1902, 14 were subsequently stolen-and only two of these were ever recovered.

William Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies is a collection of plays by William Shakespeare, published in 1623, commonly referred to by modern scholars as the First Folio

William Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies is a collection of plays by William Shakespeare, published in 1623, commonly referred to by modern scholars as the First Folio. Printed in folio format and containing 36 plays (see list of Shakespeare's plays), it was prepared by Shakespeare's colleagues John Heminges and Henry Condell.

In his lecture Rasmussen took a few examples of the strange but true stories that surrounds this book, and I was delighted that he chose to talk about the wonderful story about the Royal Shakespeare Company’s copy. I first heard RSC veteran actor Tony Church tell it in a lecture given in around 1980

Part literary detective story, part Shakespearean lore, The Shakespeare Thefts will charm the Bard's many fans.

The first edition of Shakespeare's collected works, the First Folio, published in 1623, is one of the most valuable books in the world and has historically proven to be an attractive target for thieves. Of the 160 First Folios listed in a census of 1902, 14 were subsequently stolen-and only two of these were ever recovered.

In his efforts to catalog all these precious First Folios, renowned Shakespeare scholar Eric Rasmussen embarked on a riveting journey around the globe, involving run-ins with heavily tattooed criminal street gangs in Tokyo, bizarre visits with eccentric, reclusive billionaires, and intense battles of wills with secretive librarians. He explores the intrigue surrounding the Earl of Pembroke, arguably Shakespeare's boyfriend, to whom the First Folio is dedicated and whose personal copy is still missing. He investigates the uncanny sequence of events in which a wealthy East Coast couple drowned in a boating accident and the next week their First Folio appeared for sale in Kansas. We hear about Folios that were censored, the pages ripped out of them, about a volume that was marked in red paint-or is it blood?-on every page; and of yet another that has a bullet lodged in its pages.

  • unmasked
The blurbs on the back cover give the game away: "page-turner," "travelogue," "hugely enjoyable," "brisk and amusing." It almost sounds like a summer read, if your idea of a great summer includes iced tea, a towel, sun block and Shakespeare. Well, I'm a major Shakespeare junkie and, yes, that's my idea of a good summer. Rasmussen and his team have completed a catalog raisonne of every existing (200 some) copy of the First Folio (which ran to a printing of about 750). Every detail of each copy is painstakingly recorded, covering subjects like provenance, cover/condition, damage, replacement, forgery, changes in the text from copy to copy, marginalia (!!!), etc. It's mind boggling. And THAT is NOT THIS BOOK. This book is a collection of the human interest, detective stories Rasmussen and his team collected along the way. Copies we seem to know everything about except where they are; copies we know next to nothing about except that they exist. Institutions that refuse to protect their copies. (You can get about $6 million for one these days. C'mon now!) Thieves who think they can rip off the cover or remove an owner's ex libris and pass a copy off as newly discovered. Generally, I am a big fan of books about art forgery and art theft because, to me, those topics contain everything good and bad that makes us human. So I always come away from a book like this with a sense of gratitude for so many more things to think about my fundamental humanity. And since I'm reflecting on those things in the presence of my bud, Will, all the better.
  • Marilbine
Eric Rasmussen, along with Anthony James West and several other researchers, has spent years tracking down and thoroughly cataloging every copy of Shakespeare's First Folio -- 232 are known to exist. Every marginal note, bookmark, stain, and so on has now been recorded. As Rasmussen notes, one unintended consequence of this effort is that stealing a First Folio with the hope of later selling it as a newly discovered copy is now less likely to be profitable because all known copies are so well documented. (Although, Rasmussen also notes that there is a possibility that thieves will now be motivated to more extensively mutilate a stolen copy to remove any identifying marks!)

This book consists of 20 short chapters that recount just about every interesting anecdote that is known about the First Folio. The title is a bit misleading because most of the anecdotes don't have to do with theft. The book is a quick read at only 186 pages set with a large typeface. I can't imagine that someone with an interest in Shakespeare, or in book collecting more generally, won't enjoy it.
  • Yadon
With the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death , there is a tour of first folios , stopping in each of 50 states . So reading some of the interesting stories that color the history of the legendary volume, printed not quite 400 years ago, makes for a great read, with our state and cities hosting beginning as the book was finished. Cannot say it would hold as much value for a more general reader , but in my circumstances definitely a five-star read.
  • Jairani
Well organized and written and the information was presented in a very readable manner. I was entertained and not bored.
  • Steel balls
Much Ado About . . . very little.
  • Dainris
For bibliophiles and book collectors, but written as adventures that hold your interest. Was sorry when I reached the end.
  • Mora
Considering the expertise of the author and the excellent work he has done in other books this title is shockingly shallow and dull. It reads more like a poorly rendered preface to the larger reference work he mentions several times in the narrative. He covers a topic that is of great interest to me and to many others but he makes it dull. In the acknowledgements he admits that with this book he set out to write a 'trade book' like Shaperio or Greenblatt; he did not succeed. Most of the anecdotes (and really that's all there are in in the book) are vague and boil down to: another book went missing and nobody knows where. A lot is merely filler; pages are dedicated to the fact that people who buy folios dies as if that were some earth shaking conclusion. People who buy any book eventually die. The book is disappointing and the writing is weak. Nothing like the excellent work he's done in the RSC volumes.
Fun reading rather than true scholarship.