Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Very Rare Book

The British Museum is displaying a remarkable edition of Shakespeare's complete works, which was kept by political prisoner Sonny Venkatrathnam at South Africa’s apartheid-era Robben Island jail in the 1970s. The book is signed by 33 inmates, including former South African leader Nelson Mandela, marking their favorite passage or play with a signature and date.

The passage that Mandela marked is this speech from Julius Caesar:
Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste of death but once.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard.
It seems to me most strange that men should fear;
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come.

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