There are two types of people in this world, the first ones are, the people who don’t really like reading books because most of them don’t have pictures on it, and they find it extremely boring. Then the other type of people, who simply gets lost into their book every time they read, because they just simply love reading.
Some of them even say that when they’re reading, it is taking them to a different world that only their imagination can create. That is why some people consider their books as their most prized possessions, because of how much it means to them and also some books can be rather pricey. Indeed, books can really be expensive, however, you might be too astonished when you see the following books because they’re considered to be some of the most expensive books of all time.
MR. WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE’S COMEDIES, HISTORIES, & TRAGEDIES
First on our list is none other than the very first publication of the works of the great English writer, William Shakespeare. This book is actually a collection of his plays and it was published in 1623. It is most commonly knows as the First Folio, because it is printed in folio format, instead of a real book. It contains 36 plays, including The Merchant of Venice, The Taming of the Shrew, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, Macbeth, Hamlet, and of course, Romeo and Juliet. It was published right after he died by his colleagues, John Heminges and Henry Condell. This publication was dedicated to the “incomparable pain of brethren” William Herbert, who is the 3rd Earl of Pembroke and his brother Philip Herbert, who is the Earl of Montgomery.
This publication is the only reliable text of Shakespeare’s plays, some of them has been published beforehand but this was the complete compilation of his plays, with the exception of the two of them because they’re considered to be “lost plays”, and they are the Cardenio and the Love’s Labour’s Won. The very first publication was actually worth around 15 shillings to a pound.
There are only 750 copies printed at that time, and up to this date, there are only 234 known surviving copies in the world. The British Library has 5 of them, but the Folger Shakespeare Library has 82 copies of and they are considered to have the largest collection, it is located in Washington D.C. in the USA. However, the first, second, third, and fourth folios are in the State Library of New South Wales.
THE CANTERBURY TALES
Another piece of historical artifact is the collection of stories by Geoffrey Chaucer entitled The Canterbury Tales, even if no one really knows if it is incomplete or discontinued, it is still considered to be one of the most important works in English Literature, one of the known reasons is that it has a wide range of interpretations. During the late medieval and early renaissance, there are 83 manuscripts of this work. It was all written in Middle English, so it was clearly very difficult to read.
According to literary historians, Chaucer may have mixed all of his earlier stories with this one, because during the medieval times, storytelling was actually the main entertainment and there are even contests for it. Chaucer joined one of them and won for his work, The Canterbury Tales, he won a free dinner and a crown as a prize. It was named Canterbury Tales because the tales are actually part of the storytelling contests by some pilgrims, who are one their journey from London to Canterbury.
THE MAGNA CARTA
Price: $21, 300,00
This next one is not really meant for literature, it was actually written for a peace treaty between King John of England and a group of rebel barons. It was originally known as the Magna Carta Libertatum. According to this charter, it guarantees the protection of the church rights, as well as the protection for the said barons from illegal imprisonment.
King John was actually considered to be a terrible king, hence why the barons are against him. One of the reasons is that the King raised his taxes without asking the nobles and it is actually against the law of England. This disagreement between the nobles and the king continued until the Magna Carta was created.
Last but definitely not the least is a very famous collection of the scientific writings of the great Leonardo da Vinci. It contains 18 sheets of paper, that is folded in half with writings on both sides making it a 72-page document of observations and theories of Da Vinci when it comes to astronomy, art, and sciences. Some of them are about the movement of water and the luminosity of the moon. It was all written in Italian between the years 1506 and 1510. The Codex was bought by Microsoft founder, Bill Gates in 1994 for more than $30 million. He is known to be an avid reader of rare books and his home is said to be filled with it. The Codex Leicester is today’s most expensive book ever sold.
And there you have it, some world’s most expensive books. They truly are all extremely expensive, but it was completely understandable since all of them must be well taken care of because they will forever be a part of history. If you liked reading this article, feel free to share it and it would also be nice to hear your thoughts about this by leaving a comment.