Emily Jordan Folger - Marriage and Shakespeare Collecting

Marriage and Shakespeare Collecting

In October 1885, Emily Jordan married Henry Clay Folger, an Amherst College graduate, lawyer, and young oil-company executive who later became the president and then the chairman of Standard Oil of New York. The Folgers had no children. For many years, they lived in rented homes in Brooklyn. They ultimately purchased an estate in Glen Cove, Long Island, and they often stayed at The Homestead resort in Hot Springs, Virginia.

During their marriage, Henry Folger's interest in the works of Shakespeare led him to gather the world's largest private Shakespeare collection. Emily Folger helped to catalog the acquisitions, traveled with her husband on many transatlantic collecting trips, researched possible acquisitions, and often advised him on purchases. She earned an M.A. from Vassar in 1896 for a thesis on "The True Text of Shakespeare", a survey of current scholarship on the subject. She also corresponded with Horace Howard Furness, a leading American Shakespeare editor.

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