Friday, May 30, 2014

A Very Big Day

Today was a Very Big Day.

Today I got to live out a life-long dream.  (And by "life-long," I mean "since I was about 18".)

Today, at the Library of Congress, I spent several happy, happy hours touching every single page of a First Folio.  I recorded interesting marginalia, I looked up all my favorite lines, I looked at chain lines and watermarks, and I breathed in the delicious, musty smell of 400 years of beautiful poetry.  

Also I took a selfie.  Because life dreams, man.

The title page is actually a forgery, but someone, somewhere in the six owners of the book before it got to the LoC, found an actual copy of the Folio, cut out the Droeshout portrait, and pasted it on top of the forged one.

Secretary hand.  I can read a little bit of it, but not very much.

Gorgeous cover that I can't imagine is anywhere close to original.  It's been owned by the LoC since 1930, but I think the cover predates that.  Possibly was added by the book's fifth owner, H.G. Wells.  No big deal.

Italic hand.  Much easier to read!

This was at the very end of Othello.  Beautiful.

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