#40 Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies (1632)
The second edition of Shakespeare’s collected plays was published in 1632. The First Folio was the first book that consisted only and entirely of English plays from the professional theater. The fact that the book was reprinted after only nine years demonstrates that the risky enterprise was a success. The Second Folio was produced by a consortium of publishers and was printed by Thomas Cotes, who was once an apprentice to William Jaggard. Cotes inherited the Jaggard printing house after William and his son Isaac died. The Second Folio includes additional memorial tributes to Shakespeare, including the first published poem by John Milton. This copy was once severely damaged: several of the preliminary leaves, including the title-page, are later facsimiles, and the remaining pages have been cleaned. It was once owned by a man named William Coles, who inscribed his name, dating it April 28, 1709. Another owner, whose name has been washed away, dated his inscription 1806. This book was donated to the University in 1975 by Beatrice Beck Fahnestock.