It’s like something from a detective story. In the 400th anniversary year of Shakespeare’s death, a copy of the First Folio has been discovered on a remote Scottish Island.
Oxford University academics authenticated the book which was found in a collection at stately home Mount Stuart House, and say the find is extremely rare and significant.
Printed in 1623, seven years after Shakespeare’s death, it is one of the most sought-after books in the world – worth millions of pounds. There are around 230 known copies of the First Folio, which brought together 36 plays of the Bard’s plays – 18 of which would otherwise not have been recorded – and is credited with ensuring the playwright’s legacy.
It is still unclear how the three-volume folio founds its way on to the island but the goatskin-bound book will now go on public display at the stately home which hidden on the tiny Isle of Bute in the Firth of Clyde in Scotland. The Folio will be on display from today as part of an exhibition that will run until 30 October.
The wonderful house was also probably the first property in Scotland to have electric lighting, central heating and a passenger lift – a horse-drawn railway was needed to build the house.
The Gothic Revival building, which replaced an earlier Georgian property, is a feat of Victorian engineering, created for John Crichton-Stuart, 3rd Marquess of Bute, who, in the late 19th century, was
the richest man in Britain.