Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Second Folio

The spine of a book of Shakespeare, bound in red leather with gold stamping.One of the most requested items in our collection is our copy of Shakespeare's first folio from 1623. But we want to spread a little love to the rarely requested second folio of 1632. Textually, it is similar to the first folio, though many minor editorial changes were made to update language and correct errors. It also contains what is believed to be John Milton's first published poem: "An Epitaph on the admirable Dramaticke Poet, W. Shakespeare." Milton would have only been 24 years old at the time, but the young poet served as a tie to the first folio where the brief "To the Memory of M.W. Shake-speare" appeared, likely written by Milton's father.

We actually have two copies. The one pictured here was donated to the Library by Allerton Hickmott '17, who also gave us the first folio, third folio, fourth folio, several original quarto editions and a fabulous collection of Elizabethan drama and poetry.

A page of printed text, titled "An Epitaph on the admirable Dramaticke Poet, W. Shakespeare."
So, next time you are in the mood for some Shakespeare, ask for Hickmott 2, the lonely neighbor of Hickmott 1.

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