Friday, July 29, 2022

Book Note: Shakespeare and Love: The Inside Story of the Crime that Stunned the Book World

Kelly, Mike. Shakespeare and Love: The Inside Story of the Crime that Stunned the Book World. London: Ashgrove, 2014.

Do you remember the interesting film Stealing Shakespeare, which tells the story of the theft and recovery of the Durham University First Folio (for which, q.v.)?

Shakespeare and Love tells you more—much more—about the case and about Raymond Scott, the man convicted of handling (though not of stealing) the stolen property.

Mike Kelly is a journalist who followed the story for a year and a half. Scott may have communicated more to and with him than he did to and with his own solicitors and barristers. 

The book gives a lot of information about that relationship. Indeed, it told me much more than I really wanted to know! But I'm glad the information is out there—including the semi-confessions Scott made to Kelly and subsequently retracted. 

In one anecdote, Scott implied that he might have gone into the library, broken into one of the cases, stolen some books, and exited. When he found that he wasn't challenged, he hid his horde in some bushes and went back and did the same with the First Folio. But later he told Kelly that it was all fairy stories.

If you're interested, it's worth looking into. As a sample, I've decided to give you the epilogue. It contains Scott's last communication with Kelly and an account of the sad end of his life.



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Bardfilm is normally written as one word, though it can also be found under a search for "Bard Film Blog." Bardfilm is a Shakespeare blog (admittedly, one of many Shakespeare blogs), and it is dedicated to commentary on films (Shakespeare movies, The Shakespeare Movie, Shakespeare on television, Shakespeare at the cinema), plays, and other matter related to Shakespeare (allusions to Shakespeare in pop culture, quotes from Shakespeare in popular culture, quotations that come from Shakespeare, et cetera).

Unless otherwise indicated, quotations from Shakespeare's works are from the following edition:
Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
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The very instant that I saw you did / My heart fly to your service; there resides, / To make me slave to it; and, for your sake, / Am I this patient [b]log-man.

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