The first quarto of Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus, printed in 1594, exists in a unique copy owned by The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D. C. The volume was discovered in Sweden in November 1904, and purchased by Henry Folger in January 1905. This essay traces the Swedish reactions to the discovery and sale through letters, postcards, telegrams, newspaper articles, photographs, and court documents. In the surviving documents, we can see that at stake was the volume’s monetary value. Nevertheless the negotiations to establish this value soon came to involve other issues such as artistic quality, academic and professional prestige, philanthropic importance, and the peace of mind, as well as health, of individuals involved. The essay pays special attention to the activities of Lund University librarian Evald Ljunggren in furthering the sale but also in contributing information to the academic community.
London: Bibliographical Society , 2016. Vol. 17, no 4, 424-445 p.