A Shakespeare First Folio has been discovered in a library in a small French town where it lay undiscovered for two centuries.
It is only the second known copy in France of a publication that is seen as one of the most valuable books in the English language and which can sell for millions on the rare occasions a copy comes up for auction.
The librarian in the northern town of Saint-Omer, near Calais, said he came across the book in September when he was selecting books for an upcoming exhibition on historic links between the local region and England.
“It was sitting on a shelf alongside other books by English authors,” Rémy Cordonnier, who runs the library’s rare books collection, told the Telegraph.
It was missing the frontispiece and the portrait of Shakespeare that are the hallmark of the around 800 copies of the First Folio, which set down 18 plays for the first time, that were originally printed in 1623, seven years after the playwright's death.