This copy is considered to be one of the very best extant ones. Before it came to the Bodmer Foundation, this copy was owned by a series of collectors. James Boaden, playwright famous for adapting Ann Radcliffe’s work, was possibly the earliest known owner of this copy. He was involved in the controversy surrounding Samuel Ireland’s Shakespeare forgeries. Boaden did not make the forgeries but spoke about the value of these newly found manuscripts. The copy was later owned by Robert Stayner Holford, and it became the centerpiece of his library. His son, Sir George Lindsay Holford, inherited his library and retained it for over thirty years even though he was not a collector himself. In 1925, A.S.W. Rosenbach, the renowned American rare-book broker and collector, purchased this First Folio together with a hundred other books. Because of its noteworthy condition, he held it until 1951 when he decided to sell his collection to Martin Bodmer, a Swiss collector and vice president of the International Red Cross. Rasmussen and West note that a going-away party for this First Folio was organised and that its “central event was the presentation of a cake decorated to resemble a First Folio. It is not recorded whether the volume itself attended the party” (851).
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