Collector John Wolfson Will Give Rare Shakespeare Folios to London's Globe

News   Collector John Wolfson Will Give Rare Shakespeare Folios to London's Globe
 
The Globe Theatre in London has been named the sole beneficiary of hundreds of classic texts, including works by William Shakespeare, bequeathed by American collector John Wolfson, The Guardian reported.

The collection includes a copy of the first folio, the earliest collection of Shakespeare's plays, published after his death, plus second, third and fourth editions of the folio, according to the paper. Plays by Shakespeare's contemporaries are also said to be in the mix. Wolfson's donation will be made after his death.

About 230 first folios are extant; less than 1,000 were printed. It was published in 1623, seven years after the death of the playwright. Sotheby's set a British auction house record in 2006 when it sold one for £2.8 million.

The bequest also boasts works by Christopher Marlowe, Ben Johnson, Thomas Middleton and John Ford, and more. It is reportedly worth millions of pounds.

Wolfson is a New York-based collector of antiquarian books, including texts of early plays. He is also a playwright whose works include The Lives of Bosie, about Oscar Wilde's object of desire, Lord Alfred Douglas, Midsummer Night Trip and The Pants That Won the West.

According to the Guardian, Wolfson said: "What happens to most collections, unfortunately, is that they get broken up. Having witnessed the break up of many collections, I consider myself fortunate to have found a place for my books at Shakespeare's Globe. Here it will be possible for the collection, which I have put together, to remain together, and to be used to great advantage by students, scholars and educators for generations to come."

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