January 30, 2009

Yeah, my wife, Morgan Fairchild, bought it from … Fidel Castro


The Associated Press reports that “British police charged a book dealer Wednesday with stealing a rare First Folio of William Shakespeare’s plays from a university library a decade ago.” Originally stolen from a display case in Durham University Library in the UK back in 1998, the 1623 volume is said to be worth about 3 million pounds or $4.2 million. “The book was recovered after a man walked into the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington D.C. last June and asked for its authenticity to be checked,” according to the AP. The man, Raymond Scott, 51, a book and antiques dealer from the Durham area, was arrested and charged with the theft — a charge which he denies, saying he bought the volume in Cuba. He has been released on bail, but must appear in court on February 10th. And the folio, “which scholars consider one of the most important printed books in the English language, returned in October to Durham University, where police say it is being kept “‘under lock and key.'”

Valerie Merians is the co-founder and co-publisher of Melville House.