Sarah Morgan

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And Seal the Bargain With a Holy Kiss

For Sale: Most Expensive Book of All Time.
Previous Owner Recommends Surprising Gesture Toward Author.

Sotheby’s will be auctioning off one of the few complete copies of the First Folio (a small run of 18 of Shakespeare’s plays). A private British organization is selling it – taking a hard decision to try to keep themselves afloat financially.

It’s all very interesting (well, to me it is) but what I find particularly interesting is a little detail that only a couple of newspapers have picked up on.

Many articles mention the notations that are scribbled throughout the folio – underlinings, corrections, etc. – and many stories quote experts who have possible explanations for who that person might be.

But only The Guardian and The Age mention one particular marginal notation, which reads, “Best [or But] I desire the readers moughth to kis the writeres arse.”

Sotheby’s manuscript expert notes rather sniffily that that was probably the work of a rude child.

Enlightening, though, to note that while Shakespeare’s work is indeed not for an age but for all time… so, apparently, is the humor in rude jokes. Hee hee.

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