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First edition Shakespeare recovered after 10 years

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First edition Shakespeare recovered after 10 years


Police have recovered a first folio edition of William Shakespeare’s works, stolen from Durham University in northern England, ten years ago.

A 51-year-old man from a town near Durham has been arrested over the theft of the book, published in 1623.

The story of its recovery spans the globe.

A man walked into the Folger library in Washington DC and asked staff to authenticate a book he said he had bought in Cuba.

Gail Paster, the Library Director, said: “It’s an extraordinarily important book for English literature and as I said we have 79 of them so we’d become an obvious place for someone who has a first folio to come.”

The recovered volume is now in a climate-controlled vault at the Library. Police say it’s worth around 19 million euros.

It was published seven years after William Shakespeare’s death and is the first collected edition of his plays. Of the 750 copies printed at the time, only 40 complete copies have survived.

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