The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0484 Monday, 23 July 2007
From: Joseph Egert <
Date: Wednesday, 18 Jul 2007 08:57:22 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: 18.0480 Flying Leaf
Comment: Re: SHK 18.0480 Flying Leaf
John Briggs writes:
>"I really don't see what the problem is. Do we know when Lord Amherst
>acquired his second copy? Why couldn't it have been that which was
>being described in 1888?"
Sidney Lee notes in his 1902 CENSUS that Lord Amherst acquired the First
Folio "c 1885 of Quaritch." Quaritch (now Rarebooks) could not supply
further details of the transaction. Please keep in mind that James in
his Jan, 1888 note links the First Folio under his eye to one about to
"be sold by Messrs. Christie in the ensuing season"---i.e, the Aylesford
copy (March) or the William Lee copy (June). No other First Folios were
auctioned off by Christie's in 1888 or 1889 to my knowledge.
>"Endpapers/flyleaves/pastedowns are added during binding, so if the
>Amherst copy was indeed rebound c.1700, I would expect them to have
>been added at that date, the paper to be roughly contemporary, and the
>inscriptions to have quite likely been added later. (In any event, the
>leaves couldn't have been bound prior to 1623, or the inscriptions
>added to the paper before 1616.)"
Folger's Head of Reference, Dr Ziegler, notes (personal communication)
the epitaph leaf was "mounted on a tab" in the Amherst copy at some
point, possibly during the rebinding, or elsewhen. Nor is it clear when
the leaf was inscribed. The paper's likely provenance and the writing's
secretary hand, if authentic, suggest an earlier date for the act of
inscription on the leaf. Without further testing or research, the
terminus a quo cannot be moved later than c. 1620 for the act of
handwriting, or later than 1616 for the act of authorship, if genuine.
Many thanks to Hardy Cook and Eric Luhrs for making the PDF figures
retrievable from the SHAKSPER site.
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