Shakespeare's first volume of plays goes under hammer

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London, Jun 3 (UNI) The first folio of William Shakespeare's plays, regarded as the most important book in English literature, is expected to fetch more than 400,000 pounds in an auction today.

The book contains manuscripts of 36 plays, half of which had not previously been published, including Macbeth, Twelfth Night and The Taming of the Shrew.

Margaret Ford, head of books at Christie's auction house said, ''Without this book some of Shakespeare's work could have been lost forever. All of our current knowledge of Shakespeare comes from the first folio.'' Only 200 copies of the folio, which sold for 20 shillings in 1623, are thought to exist, the Daily Telegraph reported.

A copy of the book sold for two million pounds recently, but the one that goes on sale today is only expected to fetch between 300,000 and 400,000 pounds because it is not in good condition.

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