Craven’s greatest literary treasure - one of the most precious books in the English language - has returned to the town.
Shakespeare's First Folio is back in the Craven Museum & Gallery in Skipton, after a sojourn at the Yorkshire Museum in York.
It was on loan for four months and when it left in March, sparked some criticism from Craven councillors that it would be away from the town when therTour de France arrived.
The exchange of the 1623 collection of the Bard’s plays was arranged to celebrate the Yorkshire Festival and the York Literature Festival.
In return for the Folio, Craven Museum received two beautiful Iron Age torcs (bracelets) which are thought to be the oldest pieces of gold jewellery ever found in the North of England.
While in York, 32,000 visitors enjoyed seeing the book, where it was the main attraction for a number of public events. These included an after-hours screening of the 1999 film adaptation of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream to celebrate the Summer Solstice on Saturday, June 21.
Craven Councillor Simon Myers said “We are delighted that the Folio was enjoyed by so many people and hope that it will inspire many more visitors to come and see it in its usual display here in Skipton.”
The Folio was donated to Craven Museum & Gallery in 1936 by Ann Wilkinson who had been left the book by her brother John James.
The Wilkinson family spun cotton at Primrose Mill in Embsay from 1854. By 1890 the cotton had been replaced by the manufacture of tobacco.
Craven’s First Folio, only one of five in the world to be on permanent display, can be seen Mon, Weds, Thurs, Fri and Sat 10.00-4.00 in Craven Museum & Gallery in Skipton Town Hall. www.cravenmuseum.org