Carnegie Mellon University

April Highlight - Student's Choice

Shakespeare third folioShakespeare's Third Folio

William Shakespeare, 1564-1616. Mr. William Shakespeares comedies, histories, and tragedies. 3rd impression. London, Printed for Philip Chetwinde, 1663-[1664].

The First Folio, 1623, was compiled by John Heminges and Henry Condell, actors in Shakespeare's company. The Third Folio, 1663, was published by Philip Chetwinde who had obtained the printing rights by marriage. The Third Folio is relatively rare because a quantity of unsold copies was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666.

The Posner Collection copy has a handsome provenance, or, list of previous owners. It was owned by Marsden J. Perry (1850-1935), an electricity, banking and manufacturing magnate from Rhode Island who was a noted Shakespeare collector. The famous rare book dealer Dr. A. S. W. Rosenbach sold it to Southern Pacific Railroad heir Templeton Crocker (1884-1948). Henry Posner Sr. (1888-1976) acquired it from the Crocker Estate through San Francisco book dealer John Howell.

Selected by DJ Schuldt, Ph.D. Student, Literary and Cultural Studies