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Reviews

"This book will fill a major gap in our understanding of how one of America's most influential institutions came to be, and it will be welcomed by what the 1623 Folio describes as a 'great Variety of Readers.'"

"The fascinating story of these two Shakespeare-loving Americans and the great rare-book library they founded... will be welcomed by lovers of Shakespeare, students of twentieth-century American culture, and early English printed books alike."

"In this thoroughly documented and illuminatingly illustrated joint biography, Stephen Grant makes a fascinating contribution to the intellectual and cultural history of their time."

"This charming and compelling tale of a literary obsession brings the Folgers back to life and serves as an important reminder of the incredibly rare and rich resources that lie hidden in the Folger Shakespeare Library."

"Grant provides not just a biography of the 'onlie begetters' of this astonishing library, but also an account of the worlds in which the Folgers lived. The result is a superlative book... Crisply written and packed with facts and anecdotes."

"This thoroughly researched and accessibly written book is first of all a fascinating biography of how a man and his wife devoted their lives to gathering the world's largest collection of the original folios of William Shakespeare, plus a range of literature from as early as 1500. It is also a meditation on why some museums endure and thrive, while others lapse into confusion and decay."

"This first biography of Emily Jordan Folger and Henry C. Folger... taps hitherto neglected resources to trace their joint obsession with collecting Shakespeare."

"Grant's text is indeed well-researched and written, in a snappish and easily-readable style, even though there are many details."

"While Collecting Shakespeare is biography intertwined with technicalities of antiquarian book and artifact collecting, it undoubtedly belongs on the Shakespeare lover's bookshelf."

"Stephen H. Grant tells the story of the Folgers' joint obsession clearly and efficiently; the illustrations he reproduces are particularly engaging... Shakespeareans, book collectors and all who have worked at the Library and who love and admire it will enjoy Collecting Shakespeare."

"An engrossing read... Grant has written an illuminating book that artfully places Henry and Emily Folger in their own time while showing how they helped to shape the scholarship of ours."

"Stephen H. Grant uses primary sources from within the Folger Library vault, interviews with the Folger family, and visits to nearly three dozen archives to craft a compelling narrative... This biography could be read as a perfect case study of how a cultural institution in 20th century America was conceived, created, and accomplished. It will delight students of Washington’s early 20th century history and readers who are seeking background on the impact of the Folger Shakespeare Library."

"... A good read..."