So there we are in the vault. Georgianna goes digging for something to show us next, and Garland tells me, “Around the corner are the Quartos.” I take my oldest and we head around the corner. Yes, you could say that there are Quartos.
Since we were just looking and no one was explaining the significance of these particular volumes, I can’t really say what we are looking at. I highly doubt that “original” (or close to it) editions are shoved on top of each other like that. If you look carefully you will see a Romeo and Juliet dated 1599, however. That’s pretty cool! These are almost certainly not original bindings, so maybe it’s not such a big deal to have them rubbing up against each other. It’s what’s on the inside that counts. Don’t judge a quarto by its cover!
Oh, and Bardfilm also suggested that I ask about the only known Q1 edition of Titus Andronicus in existence. There’s a big Titus on the far right end of that first picture. Think that’s it?
I had no idea they were so small. Well, I mean, I knew they were small, but after having seen the Folios all spaced out on their own shelves with nothing else surrounding, to turn the corner and see all these tiny books at once.
“You can’t be back there!” I hear Georgianna call. “Sorry, it’s the rules, I’m not back there with you. That’s actually why there’s two of us here, Garland is my backup.”
“Yes,” says Garland, “Technically I’m supposed to tackle you if you make a break for it.”
What’s funny is that I don’t know if this is really a rule, or if they didn’t appreciate my sense of humor. See, in arranging this visit I was going back and forth over email with Garland, and conferring with Bardfilm
(who has been to Folger) on what I should see. What he jokingly suggested, and what I jokingly wrote back to Garland, was
Oh, and @Bardfilm said you’ve got Quartos just lying around and asked me to grab him one on the way out. 🙂