tv The Millionaire and the Bard CSPAN October 22, 2016 5:30pm-6:31pm EDT
happening in the context of my schools. but i also hit the sweet spot in some sense in terms of the integration of my high school where we had a nice mix of students from many different backgrounds, and it was a rich environment for understanding how we can get along with each other. we had folks who were conservative and liberal, we fad fad -- we had folks who were black, white, latino, christian, jewish, muslim, and we were all in the same environment. and i think that was a rich experience. so one of the goals of "despite the best intentions" is to really think about, you know, in these environments what's working well but also what's not working and what can we do to make those environments stable and productive places for young people to sort of learn how to participate in a democratic society with people who don't always look like them. >> host: "despite the best intentions: how racial inequality thrives in good schools." amanda lewis of the university of illinois-chicago and john diamond of the university of
wisconsin-madison are the can co-authors. -- are the co-authors. thank you very much. >> guest: thank you. [inaudible conversations] >> and now booktv's live coverage of the wisconsin book festival continues. this is author andrea mays. she's the author of "the millionaire and the bard." live coverage on booktv on c-span2. [inaudible conversations]
[inaudible conversations] >> here we go. i'll start over. welcome. my name is susan, and i work for the uw-madison libraries as a special collections librarian, an english language humanities librarian. welcome to the wisconsin book festival. i would like to introduce today our author, andrea mays, who will be talking about her book with this fantastic cover, "the millionaire and the bard." tell you a little bit about
andrea mays. like henry folger, possessed by a lifelong obsession with shakespeare and his times. ann create ya spent much of her -- andrea spent much of her girlhood holed up in the library listening to vinyl recordings. a graduate of stuyvesant high school, she was not only a protege of frank mccourt, but also his mentor. andrea has degrees in economics from the state university of new york at binghamton and from ucla and teaches economics at cal state university at long beach. she was a presidential appointee to the u.s. international trade admission where she served as economist to the chairman. she divides her time between california and washington. "the millionaire and the bard" is her first book.
it's an excellent read about an extraordinary book, the first folio, and about henry clay folger and his wife emily folger. passionate fans of shakespeare and passionate, obsessed collectors. they are the founders of the folger shakespeare library in washington, d.c., and that's their gift to the united states, the people of the united states. i will not say much more, but i will let andrea mays tell this story. thank you. [applause] >> hi. welcome, everybody. thank you for coming out. i'm going to talk a little bit about the book, how i came to write it, what it's about and why the timing of this book was incredibly fortunate. and and i'm also going to give you an assignment, something to
do starting november 3rd. there's going to be a copy of a first folio that you can visit at the university of wisconsin, so i'll get to that at the end of my story. so, first, i want to talk a little bit about how i came to write this book. how did the idea come to me, what, you know, spurred me to do this. my obsession with shakespeare began as a lot of obsessions i think do, as a result of an excellent teacher who introduced me to the plays of shakespeare starting in middle school and then working my way through high school. i had excellent teachers for elizabethan theater, and i was bitten by the bug, and we were off and running. i've been reading the plays, seeing the plays be performed
since then. when9 came time to write a -- when it came time to write a book, someone recommended to me that i do write about something i already knew a little something about so that i was not going to be starting from ground zero and perhaps spending a great deal of time with something i didn't enjoy. and so my sister said, well, how about shakespeare, something related to shakespeare. wasn't quite sure exactly what subject to write about because thousands of books have been written about shakespeare. and so what could i do that was a little bit different. is so here's how it happened. i start with shakespeare in high school, and be then i run -- we use the folger editions of the shakespeare plays in high school, so if you have not used a pollier edition of the plays -- folger edition of the plays, they're paperback books, and on the one side is the text and on the facing page are
definitions. so it's very helpful. you don't have to go to the bottom, to the back of the book, and that was my first exposure to this folger something or other. later at ucla in law school i came across a henry clay folger as a defendant in the famous standard oil antitrust case from 1911, and i wonder if that's any relation whatsoever to the folger editions, hmm. then i moved to washington, d.c. in the mid 1980s and walked by the folger library every day on my way to work. at some point i went into the folger for one of their tours and asked a docent where the money had come from that built this collection and built the library, and the docent said mr. folger worked for an oil company. [laughter] and i thought this was something that was worthy of a little more
research, a little investigation, and that was how i started weaving the two stories together. i grew up in new york city surrounded by the trappings of the gilded age. so the carnegie mansion was across the street from my church, the frick mansion was across the street from the bus stop i got off at in middle school, our science trips were up to the rockefeller preserve and so on, so i've been surrounded by the gilded age since i can remember, and all of that comes out in the book, "the millionaire and the bard." so really what "the millionaire and the bard" is about, it's two separate stories, two periods of time, elizabethan and jack bianco, london mostly, and new york during the gilded age and how we move from one story to
the other is connected through a book. and that's the book that i wrote about, shakespeare's first folio. so let me digress for a minute and talk for a moment about who shakespeare was. so you may be aware that this is the 400th anniversary of shakespeare's death. this year. so many events are going on around the united states to celebrate or commemorate this event including the exhibit at the university of wisconsin-madison which i'll talk a little bit about. when shakespeare died -- so we're celebrating 400 years later the great works that this man left behind. when he died, it was by no means sure that he would become the secular god of english language literature. he was, he had contemporaries
who were extremely talented. it's not like he was the only play wright of the era -- playwright of the era that we still remember, but when he died, only half of his plays had been plushed, and none of those -- had been published, and none of those with his permission. so let me explain why that would have been. at the time there was no copyright law. the copyright act, the act of queen anne did not come into existence until 1709 in england and, therefore, the author had no property rights in their own plays. they would essentially sell the plays to the theater companies outright. and then the theater companies didn't want to publish the plays because anyone who got hold of a copy would be able to perform a play in competition with them. so they at no time want the plays performed -- they didn't want the plays performed. so how did half of the plays, nonetheless, get out into, get published? and the answer is pirates, okay?
not aargh pirates -- [laughter] but pirates. the printers would, for example, hire a minor player from the acting company to recreate play as they knew it, and they would say, you know, come on in, have a seat. hamlet, go! and then they would just write down as fast as they could whatever they came up with. sometimes with some interesting and not so great effects. another thing they would do would be to send a stenographer out into the audience when the play was being performed and have them right down as quickly as they could whatever was going on in the play. again, with sometimes mixed results. so half of the plays, including hamlet, were already published and in sort of paperback versions. is so if you took a very large piece of paper, folded it once, folded it in quarters again,
that would be about the size of a paperback book, and a single play would be published in that format by these pirate printers. the other half of the plays we know about because there were diarists at the time who attended plays, who wrote about them, but we would not have had copies of them had a book not been published by shakespeare's friend seven years after shakespeare's death. isso it's 1616, shakespeare die. when he goes into the ground, half of the plays are in danger, again, of evaporating. and two of his friends, fellow actors in the globe theater or company, decided to collect shakespeare's plays, edit them and publish them as a memorial to their deceased friend. they made a a couple of interesting decisions. is so one was they were going to
publish this all in one volume. and in order to do that, they would have to do it in an extremely large format. so about 13 inches by 8 inches is the format. so if you had a very large piece of paper and you folded it only once, that would be a folio size. and it was extraordinary to publish plays in that format. in part, those works -- sorry, that size had been reserved pretty much for serious works of religious or political importance, not for something as ephemeral as plays. and you might be aware of the history of the theater during elizabeth and james' reigns that the puritans had a great deal of power in parliament including one of elizabeth's trust add visors -- advisers. the puritans were against theater because it was an
offense to god to pretend to be something that you weren't. so imagine at the time that elizabeth is reigning that only men and boys are on the stage, not women. so not only were they pretending to be something they weren't, but these were boys pretending to be women. this was more than the puritans could handle. so these two men, john hemings and henry condell, two great, unsung heroes of english language literature whose names almost no one knows, but you do now, collected the sources that would have been available to the them including these paperback versionings of the plays. -- versions of the plays. whatever manuscripts they might have had available to them as members of the theater company because they would have owned the manuscripts outright. and they came with something that no other publisher could have had, and that was the knowledge of how the plays had
been performed because they were acting in those plays with shakespeare or under his direction. so when it came to taking, let's say, a cordo version of hamlet and reading a soliloquy, they might say, no, that's not how we did it. this is how it went. that's to not how we performed that. so they essentially became the first editor of shakespeare's and left us with the versions of the plays that we know today. so the sources that they might have assembled no longer exist, and there's no diary from hemings or condell telling us what it is that they did, but we sort of surmise what were the sources that might have been available to them. what are some of the plays that would have been lost? oh, you might be familiar with some of them. how many of you read macbeth in high school?
that is one that would have been lost. no macbeth, no tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, no sound and fury, no -- [inaudible] thank you. no rosalind, no tempest, no full fathom five thy fathers lies, those were pearls that were his eyes. nothing of him that doth change but the suffer sea change into something rich and strange. all of that would have disappeared had this book not been published. so anthony and cleopatra and a long list of 16 plays -- 18 plays that would have disappeared had the book not been published. so the book is plushed in 1623, this giant volume you could have
bought in sheets, so just the paper for a pound. then you could have brought it to your favorite binder, and they could have bound it to your tastes. and the original binding, 17th century bindings for these books became extremely valuable and extremely coveted in the collecting world. so now i'm going to talk a little bit about how the first, this book we call shakespeare's first folio, how that evolved, the collecting of that evolved through the centuries. and the answer is it became a fetish object. it is not an especially rare book surviving in a number of 235, although 236 is about to be announced, so stay tuned for that. 235 copies are known to survive. where the cordo editions of the plays are far more rare. is so only two with copies of
one of the corps does of hamlet survive, and neither of them is complete. so the one many in the british library is missing one page, the one at the henry huntington museum in pasadena is missing a different page, and is so together it formed one complete copy. there is a single known, surviving copy of titus andronicus, the first play of shakespeare's that was published while shakespeare was alive, and that single copy was found in a library in sweden and later bought by henry folger. so that is the only copy remaining in the world, and i have held it. [laughter] all right. so the first folio, as i mentioned, became a fetish object particularly -- prior to the gilded age, but particularly in the gilded age it was a the fetish object for collectors. mostly collectors would want a
single, excellent copy, big original 17th century binding containing all the plays, and then there's some leaves in the book that are particularly valuable. those that you would expect over 400 years to get the most damage. the first page and the last page, the last page is the last page of cymbalene, the portrait9 page that includes that engraving of shakespeare that we all know so well. that's partly on the cover of "the millionaire and the bard." that, by the way, is one of two known likenesses of shakespeare not done from life, there is no portrait done from life that we've discovered yet, but done while people who knew shakespeare were still alive. so when hemings and condell collected these plays and they engaged the artist to do the engraving, they could have said, no, that's not what we looked like. more hair, less hair, shorter moustache, brighter eyes. whatever it was, these were
people who knew shakespeare and, therefore, could have said this is what he looked like. the other likeness, by the way, is the effigy of shakespeare in stratford upon avon trinity church which also was done, commissioned by his son-in-law and, therefore, someone who would have known what he looked like. so the typical collector would have wanted a high spot including that portrait are page, for example. and there are many copies of that in the folger collection. but that is one of the more valuable pages in the book. let me talk a little bit about -- oh, so the high spot. so someone like henry huntington, j.p. morgan would have collected a really beautiful, complete copy, and then they would have gone on to something else. so the huntington collection has first folios in it, but it also has jack london and benjamin
franklin and abraham lincoln and all kinds of other things. henry folger was different from these collectors many that he single mindedly pursued anything related to shakespeare. now, when i say anything related to shakespeare, it could be tangentially related. it might have been a source material, it might have been related to something that shakespeare might have known about or an event that shakespeare might have known about. but basically, single mindedly collecting shakespeare. so let me talk a little bit about who henry folger was, because most people don't know who he was, and that was part of the reason to write the book. henry clay folger was born this brooklyn in the 1830s to middle class family are. his father was a miller in supplier -- milliner supplier. he went to amherst college, and while he was at school, his father's business went bankrupt, and he moved back to new york city, enrolled in city college of new york which was
tuition-free at the time, and because a friend that he had gone to school with said, no, no, henry, you have to finish at ham herself, he was able -- amherst, he was able to get a loan that enabled him to go back. the man who arranged the loan for him later became his mentor and employer, charles pratt. and i'll talk a little more about him later. he appears as a character a little bit later on as does his son, charlie pratt, who ends up being one of henry's lifelong friends, not at least in part because he introduced him to his wife. so henry finishes amherst, moves back to brooklyn, enrolls in night school at columbia for law school and goes to work as a clerk in the pratt oil company. the pratt oil company in brooklyn is then taken over by standard oil of new york with john d. rockefeller at the helm.
pratt becomes, again, an executive in the standard oil company, and henry starts at the bottom as a clerk and works his way up, eventually becoming president of the standard oil company of new york. 1911 the antitrust case against standard oil results in it being split into 36 different companies, the largest piece is standard oil of new jersey, the second largest is standard oil of new york, and that is the one that henry becomes the president of and then later becomes chairman of the board. so from being a clerk, he works his way up to being chairman of the board of the standard oil company. so nine to five he is writing -- excuse me, he's running the world's largest corporation, and then after work he goes home, and and his wife -- who was a shakespearean in her own right, she had written her master's thesis at vassar on the true
text of shakespeare -- he and his wife would go through catalogs and order things for their collections and open the packages they -- packages that arrived, examine the books, read the books rm they were not dilettantes. they read and examined the books they bought. they wrote about shakespeare, went to the play, read the plays, examined the plays. they were very much involved in the shakespeare world together. they would examine these books. emily would write out an index card with all the bib lo graphic information including where they had purchased it, what its condition was, who the dealer was, etc. and then they, when the husband that they rented on clinton hill in brooklyn became so full with the books that they could no longer fit any in there, they would take the books down to the basement, wrap them and put them boo a case -- into a case. and when the case was filled,
they would ship it off to storage. and they did this case after case after case after case in various fireproof warehouses in manhattan and brooklyn. and when the room in the warehouse became filled with cases, they would rent another room. [laughter] and i looked at bills for one particular to havage room at a warehouse -- storage room at a warehouse in brooklyn for over 30 years, they paid storage fees on that. so at the very end, there were almost 2,000 cases that they had packed full of materials and put away. how could you possibly hope to find anything if you had thousands of cases and hundreds of thousands of items? well, emily typed up -- eventually with a typewriter -- she typed up the inventory of each case, and henry personally drew a map of each room and said
which box was where and what was in each box. so if he needed to get hold of something, oh, there's a, you know, the copy of ty plus andorinus, where is it, he could locate that in liz little -- his little brown brook and in theory go to the storage facility and pull it out. he never did but he could have. [laughter] there are letters from scholars saying, oh, i hear you have such and such. it would be very helpful in my research if i were able to examine be it, can i come look at that? he would demur and say, well, i'm sorry, but everything is in to storage, and all of my time is being devoted to building a library to store it, to make it available to scholars, i'll let you know when the library is built which, eventually, he did. is at the end of his career at standard oil, he retired, finally bought a house instead of renting a house, moved out to long island surrounded by his
friends from the pratt family. they all kind of lived in the same neighborhood around a golf course out in nassau. and planned his library. and he and emily had a budget, they had an idea for what they wanted the library to look like, how it was going to -- what it was going to look like, how it was going to operate, how scholars would get materials available for them. they were in on the architecture, the engineering, how many windows, which direction would they face, she had something to do with what would be planted in the gardens. he chose every quotation that is engraved on the outside of the folger library. he chose the subject for each of the nine high-relief marble statues that are on the front of the, the east front of the -- east capitol front of the folger library.
he chose the subjects, what characters were going to be depicted. he saw a model of one of the completed high reliefs and made changes to it, talked to the artist and said, no, i think lear should look stronger, more frazzled, the fool should be smaller. he was in on the building of every detail of this library of he was also almost compulsively secretive about his collecting. so you could imagine he's been collecting since the late 1800s, that people would have gotten wind of what he was doing. so as i mentioned, most collectors had a copy, maybe two, maybe three. henry huntington at four huge, large number. but folger didn't want anybody to know what he was doing. so he swore his dealers to secrecy. not all of them respected that, by way.
by the way. one of them blabbed right away to "the new york times" that folger had paid the world's record price for a book, and there's only one place that that information could have come from, and it was the dealer. folger was not happy. he wrote to the dealer and scolded him. but the folger, trying to keep secret what he was doing in a vain effort to keep his identity secret and keep prices down. yeah. so imagine if you're bill gates and you decide you're going to collect, i don't know, jane austen, and every time something jane austen comes up at auction, hey, everybody else in the audience goes, oh, and the prices go up. ..
would have been used to run the library and to make acquisitions. he was very specific in his testament to exactly how this would work. endowment drop below x. dollars they could not make any official acquisitions and so on but in october of 1929 stock market at a 40% off sale and the value of his oil stock fell tremendously and therefore the money he anticipated would be available for running the library shrank a great deal. it is because the family folgers generosity and her vision as well as henry's to have the library built that the library gets to completion. the other glitch in the building of the library was that henry folger took a little over a decade to assemble 14 parcels of
land on east capitol street between second and third street on capitol hill in washington d.c. in order to build the library. he buys the townhouses on that street one at a time. finally when he has assembled the last of the 14 properties, he opens the newspaper and sees congress about to condemn this flaw in order to build the annex for the library of congress. so they are going to use a condemnation and conversely is the fifth amendment to block the original thomas jeffersonville into the library of congress. henry folger contacts the librarian of congress and with his help takes the property that henry folger had acquired devoted to the annex so if you go to washington d.c. and you
visit the folger library you will see that behind the folder library is the annex for the library of congress. that was a great achievement to have been able to do that. let me tell you a couple of stories about acquisition. partly the book, i tried to write it in a way that created some suspense as to whether henry folger was going to be successful at his acquisition are not so really these are about chasing these coveted objects. so i tell basically three stories. one is the chase for the only known copy and how that ends in how henry agonizes over how much he paid for it, how dealers write to him saying oh i got to lead on this and i can get it for you, i can get it for you i can get it for you and he has already got it. he has already sent his agent
from london and said get on the ferry, get over to sweden and get me that up. hear all the dealers are saying should i buy it? another story involves the chase for the benson copy which is a very large copy of the first folio in -- with its original 17th century binding included in a modified binding. it's got a portrait and it's got all the pages. it's got all the plays and it. and it was the first presentation copy of the first folio. if you look at the portrait which is reproduced on the inside cover, the end paper of my book, you will see at the top of the portrait page is someone's handwriting and that
is not graffiti. it's in latin. it's a gift from the printer wiley jaggard. he gave him this presentation copy so we know this is one of the first copies off the press. he came up available for sale when henry folger found out about it through a census that a shakespeare scholar had produced , essentially lifting not only the location of all the known copies of the first folio that he could track down but also the condition and did they have the portraits, to be paid for them if he could wrangle that out of the owner and henry wanted to owe not only the copies they came up at auction but he also wanted to go after copies that were not yet up for sale. so he has basically viewed this as a shopping catalog and also
that is dealers keep their ears to the ground for any aristocrat who might have no use for an old book of poetry as somebody called it and he pursued those copies through various book dealers. when he got wind of this particular copy that was for sale i tell the story of how he is running the standard oil company contributed to his technique. he was truly an american which was not necessarily a good thing if you are in english nobleman and you were assaulted -- insulted by the approach in which they say okay, how much? so the volume was owned by a noble man named conning is the sid for it. i could not make up those names. [laughter] and he quoted a very high price for his copy of the first folio and henry possibly couldn't
afford it so he tried various techniques could i pay for half an hour and half later, could they take more and stay in england for a while, can you send it to me, can i do that on approval and i will send it back to you but i will give you 200 pounds for your trouble. it didn't go over well. the nobleman essentially said well i've i have changed my mind, i don't really need the money so i'm not going to sell but if you want to write me every christmas and asked me if i have changed my mind that would be okay. that would be okay. and he did and eventually the nobleman quoted the price, quoted a price, very high one and henry folger met it and that was ultimately henry folger's first trip to england where he picked the copy up and brought
it back personally on the ship with his wife, emily. let me tell you a story about another exceptional copy and that was probably also one of the first copies the came off the press. a lot of the time in 1623 would have required any publisher to send a copy of every book they published to the major university including oxford university library. by the way founded by thomas bosley. isley was not a fan of the play. apparently they changed their mind at some point because copies of the first folio ended up there. once the first folio sold out, his second, third and fourth folio were also produced. they are much less valuable and they include plays that were
attributed to shakespeare but not written by shakespeare. the first folio sells pretty well so the publisher says well maybe we can find some more plays by this shakespeare guy. john oldcastle in the yorkshire tragedy are not in here. nonetheless when a copy of the subsequent folio, the third folio comes to the bradley library they figure the first folio is superfluous so they get rid of it at a library sale. for 24 pounds. wouldn't you have liked to have been at that sale? think of that as you walk out of the library and the friends of libraries have their sales card out there. you never know what you are going to find there. so bosley disposes of this copy of surplus for 24 pounds. i will fast-forward to the middle of the story.
a collector in the 1900s brings a copy of something into the bosley library and as the library and to authenticate, is it a first folio? not only is it a first folio, it is their first folio so how can they tell this? at the time the first folio went to the bosley and that a piece of furniture on the spine through which a chain would have been thread and then locked so that you could take the book off the shelf and stand at the podium and read it but you couldn't steal the book. so all of the books of the era would have been bound by a man named william using the same kind of leather in the same kinds of ornaments and therefore when this came into the bosley and in the early 1900s they were able to say how many books
have a half off on the spine in this exact color? it is not only a copy, it's the copy that they disposed of. what to do? the collectors willing to part with the copy so he says quote or price. 2500 pounds which was a very high number at the time. the librarian runs some articles in the london book collecting papers and asked for donations from oxford to raise the money to be able to buy it and henry folger i can just imagine to his office at the center of 23 broadway was rubbing his hands together saying i can pay 2300 or 2500. as it turns out the oxford men were not that -- and therefore the librarian scolded them
saying what he is thinking not giving money? this book could be part of the transatlantic trade and culture and it will all grow across the pond to the united states. we don't even know who this millionaire is make me an offer for this book. he might even be in trade. how can we let him have this diebolt book so ultimately with the help of a lord they were able to raise the money and buy the book for their collection. that's one of henry did not get. he did not get this bodleian copy. in 2011 and the folger library had the exhibit on the first folio and it included several copies that were borrowed from other collect jars or collections. this bodleian decide -- declined to send their copy over so if
you want to see it and if i want to see it you have to go over to him and in order to be able to do that. so let me just finish up and then i will take some questions and if you have a question you can go to the microphone. i talk a little bit about what the library meant and in particular how henry folger and emily folger viewed it. they view themselves as taking these volumes off the shelves, dusty shelves of the aristocrat and bringing them to places where scholars would have access to them. so in wisconsin i think you have to drive to chicago to see the closest copy you would have available to you on a typical day to be able to see it. if you're in new york or los angeles or san francisco there are couple of collections you might have access to. there's one at uc-irvine and the library in san francisco and
ucla has a copy. but if you are in the middle of the country you will have to travel quite a ways before you can see a copy of this. however the folger library is sending 18 of its copies of the first folio around the united states for the 400th anniversary of shakespeare's death and each state gets a visit plus with the addition of columbia and puerto rico. you will have the opportunity starting november 3 to see a copy on display. so i urge you definitely to take the time to go and see a copy of that. it's not something you come across everyday and i've been going around, traveling around looking at these exhibits and talking about them. it's really something to see. so arguably that is the book that saved half of shakespeare's plays. arguably half of the place that
disappeared. by the way that spot on for the number of plays that we know of from that era that we don't have copies of some daniel keyes was one of the direst who would write about the play and we don't have copy of them. shakespeare would have been spot on for 50% so bravo to emily mundel for bringing up this the book and bravo to emily and henry folger for putting their collection in a place where scholars will have access to them. let me just close by giving you a view of shakespeare by the numbers. 900, 235, 82, 13, five. those are my numbers. 900 pages in the first folio, 20085 so far surviving copies, 82 of those are at the folger library.
at the time that folger died that was about half the world's known copies were in this collection. so his collection the next largest is that may see university in japan. the next largest after that is the british library in versailles. so part of the story is about the obsession of collecting, having a willing partner in emily folger was one of the secret weapons and continuing to collect these books, continuing collect shakesperiana through their collective careers and i was extremely if fortunate beneficiary to be able to use their collection archive to write the book. if you have any questions i would be happy to answer them. [applause]
>> rob lowe to you. >> thank you. >> is an english major who studied in england and who is taught shakespeare's plays for over 20 years there so many things that i didn't understand at all until i read your book. >> thank you, thanks. i think most people were not destined to be that these plays would survive and again it's the idea that one of the porters of hamlet only survives into copies it's a very thin thread. >> this is a fantastic book. i would encourage everyone to read it even if they are not shakespearean scholars. i have to say it's nice to read about an alum but that's not what is the desk you. >> if you were at amherst you also saw the name pratt all over
the place, pratfall, proud haul all over. >> i did. very generous. the question i was going to ask about the writing because i think it's incredibly well-structured and balanced and you keep things moving all the time. how did you decide to get in perhaps to all the discussion about standard oil and his work there? it really keeps the focus on folger. i'm -- it's really personal kind of book. >> well thank you. listen to him. credit is not due because i did write a lot about the standard oil company. it's just that ended up in the footnotes because more than once there's a very long foot note in their about the standard oil company and in particular what most people know of the standard oil company comes from a book by ida tarbell.
i wrote essentially a response to that and in part to give you some context to what was going on in the business world. this is a man, imagine steve jobs as a shakespeare collector. he's one of the wealthiest men in the world and he is doing this 925 running the biggest company in the world but tarbell was not an unbiased journalist. her father had been put out of business by competition the standard oil company. essentially her father built the barrels that the oil was transported in and in effort to save money and cut costs rockefeller hired his own coopers, and made his own barrels and therefore her father was out of business. it's hardly a -- hardly an unbiased opinion. i'm not an apologist for standard oil. they did many things later on that were extremely
anti-consumer about the things that she wrote about primarily for things that were very positive and very negative for rockefeller's competitors. thank you for the compliments but all of that information is in the footnotes in the book. thank you. >> hello, good evening. thank you for your very informative speech here. one quick question and another drawnout one. was henry v --. >> no. that is safe. >> the more drawnout question is what the piracy going on back then which was very surprising to me but how can we be sure that what we are reading is really what shakespeare wanted us to see and what someone else conjured up? i'm not complaining but if there was something that may be
changed i'd be interested to see. >> the answer is we cannot know. isn't that awful? much inc. has been spilled trying to go back to figure out what the original text might have looked like. not a word, not a line of poetry , of prose existed in shakespeare's hand. the only thing we know for sure we have in his hand is six words , william shakespeare, william shakespeare, william shakespeare, that's it. so we don't have the manuscript to compare it to to say oh this is how he wrote it, here is a draft. what we do have though is hemings and condell from 1597 until he retired in 1611, we know there were actions together. they are in the same place so they would then there to see this is how we did it and i
think that's a compelling argument. >> that's very reassuring, thank you. >> thank you. [inaudible] >> you will want to get closer to the mic. >> i know -- was published in 1609 that and i was wondering if that played a role at all of the publication of the first folio or were they focused solely on the plate like. >> the publication is an interesting story as well and they do touch on it and "the millionaire and the bard." this was also about shakespeare's permissions that he did not publish those and make money from it. they were published -- he does not know how or claims not to know how. i don't think those two were related. hemings and condell wrote about wanting to memorialize so they
writes imprecatory problems as do a few other poets in the beginning of the first folio and that is what they say they want to do as a memorial. the sonnets were really published by pirate with the intent of making money and this volume hemingses and condell had no idea whether they would make money and would people buy place and read them? >> okay. >> thanks. >> thank you for your talk and for your book. have a question on the book. this is at the end of "the millionaire and the bard" right before the epilogue. talks about emily and she dies on february 21 of 1936. she was 77 and outlived henry by six years. the funeral was held in glen cove new york. after her death she named to final contributions to the library.
the first is a generous sum of cash to secure its future under other requests is very strange period. [laughter] >> both she and henry had their ashes interred at the library. so this is a little bit of a spoiler so if you don't like suspense being destroyed cover your ears now. henry folger died two weeks after breaking ground in the libraries of all those cases the looks, never saw them again. she however did. the library was open and she lived another six years so she got to enjoy the collection and seeing the library and so on and so forth. they had not discussed what would happen, would they be buried at the library but she had henry's ashes interred in that niche. if you go into the old reading
room there's a copy of that effigy of shakespeare from the trinity church stratford-upon-avon looking over the readers in the room and then just below that the niche was with their ashes in there. thank you for asking. >> how much do you know about heminge condell their origins in the company and what role they might play? >> oh yeah. we know a little bit. that may work a little bit backwards. one is there was a memorial to them in the churchyard of saint mary alderman in london and to my knowledge is the only sculpture as a tribute to a book it's got a bust of shakespeare and it's got a stone copy of the
first folio and then the placas to honor her heminge and condell. they are not completely unknown. there was this little thin book written about them in the 1960s so we know something about what their wills were, and the woman who does research on the wills of era knows a little bit about that. they acted in the same company with him. the earliest that i saw was 501597 and we actually have a copy of it broad side of hemming and condell and shakespeare acting in a play together. we know they knew each other. if you saw shakespeare in love there is an actor who is a stud during chorus in romeo and julia. i don't know if you remember that but he comes out, that is heminge so we do know something about what they did. they also were shareholders and
not just actors so they would have been sharing in the profit of the company. we do know that about them. and we know they had lots of children. one had nine and one had six, something like that and their peers with st. mary's in london and that is where their memorial is. that church by the way, this is more than you want to know but that church by the way was destroyed in the blitz and then rebuilt and taken board by board to missouri where it's at the university of missouri campus and that is where churchill delivered his iron curtain speech. so much more than you wanted to know but there you go. well, thank you very much. if you have any other questions i'd be happy to answer them. [applause]
[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> you up and listening to authors andrea mays whose book "the millionaire and the bard" tells the story of henry folger and his hunt for shakespeare's first folio. booktv recently toured the folger's shakespeare library in washington d.c. and while we were there we went down into the vault and saw many of the items that henry folger and the library have collected over the years. while we wait for the next wisconsin book festival event to begin here is a portion of that tour. you can watch the entire visit at the tv.org.
>> we are going below ground, correct? >> we will be going several floors below ground level. we have evolved their runs almost the full length of a city block and that is where we keep our rare books and our manuscripts. >> michael were all the manuscripts and rare books we are going to see downstairs, where they collected by the folger's? >> the folger started the collection but we as an institution have been collecting for around 80 years and so it is a growing and dynamic collection. there is more to find and we acquire it and give it to scholars. we take pictures of it and put it on line.
we are now at the fault. >> this is the 1932 bank fault door which is extremely happy. i don't think i could start moving unless i had help. we are going to pass through now it's usually not open, correct? >> the officer just open it with his keys. i have my own as a way to get out. >> there is our crew here. that is scarlett who has been helping us run the whole scene here. >> we are going to go right to the elevator which will take us down another floor below. >> let's give everybody the experience of what it's like to go through the vault. >> let me take this to dixie. one of the amazing things ou