The Auckland Public Library has owned this copy of the First Folio since 1894 when Sir George Grey gifted it to them. Sir George Grey played a key role in the colonization of Australia and New Zealand. He acted as Governor of South Australia, as Governor of New Zealand, Governor of Cape Colony, and was the 11th Premier of New Zealand. He came to own this copy in 1894 when he purchased it from Bernard Quaritch, a bookseller and collector, for £85. This copy is kept together with letters written by Grey and Quaritch, discussing the purchase of this copy as well as some needed repairs needed. In fact, Quaritch apologies because he is currently unable to have the “Shakespeare repaired”. He explains that “the only man in London that can do this class of work is seriously ill” and that he “must therefore leave it as it is” (correspondence from bookseller Mr. Bernard Quaritch relating to the repair of this copy, dated 19 June 1894). The missing pages, amongst which the title page and Ben Jonson’s verses, were supplied in facsimile. This copy also contains some evidence of ownership and annotations from the seventeenth century onwards. The earliest manuscript signature found in this copy reads “Charles Gryll April – [...] | 1676”.
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