This copy was first received by the library in 1623 as part of the agreement that Thomas Bodley made with the Stationers’ Company in 1610. Its binding has not changed since. In the late 1660s, the Bodleian Library seems to have sold its copy when it received the more recent Third Folio, published in 1663/4. In 1905, Gladwyn Maurice Revel Turbutt – who part of the family that owned this copy after it was sold by the Bodleian to Oxford bookseller Richard Davis – brought it back to the Bodleian to ask for advice on its rebinding. It was quickly identified as the deposit copy and the Turbutt family was offered £3,000 on behalf of Henry Clay Folger, at the time an anonymous buyer. The family gave the Bodleian the chance to make a matching offer and so began the fund-raising campaign that was going to reacquire this volume. Letters and cards written by the donors are now preserved in the Bodleian’s archive. A rumour that the anonymous buyer was American circulated and prompted nationalistic sentiments surrounding the keeping of this copy in England. Rasmussen and West report a note from one of the donors saying that 'it would have been a shame if it had been purchased by an American' (114). In 1906, the copy returned to the Bodleian and, as Emma Smith writes, Folger 'would go on to buy over 50 more [First Folios] – but not this one'.
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