If it’s real, it’s the literary find of the century. New York antiquarian booksellers Daniel Wechsler and George Koppelman believe they have found William Shakespeare’s annotated dictionary.
The book itself is John Baret’s An Alvearie or Quadruple Dictionarie, published in 1580. It was listed on eBay in late April 2008. They placed a bid of $US4300 and got it for $US4050. Wechsler is unequivocal, “only $250 separated us from never having had this experience.”
Images taken from the dictionary.
Although unsigned, it contains thousands of annotations in a contemporary hand that point directly to the composition of some of Shakespeare’s best known works, including Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, and many of the sonnets. Wechsler and Koppelman have spent the past six years making sense of the annotations and building a case that it is Shakespeare’s copy.
To answer my own question, I never find these because I don’t like to spend more than a dollar on a book.
Also, I live in southwest Missouri, which is better suited for finding caches of silver coins than four hundred year old books.