Education: Scholars Welcome

Both collectors had seen Good Queen Bess's corset advertised in an antique dealer's catalogue. That day they met in the street. "I got ahead of you this time, Henry," crowed the first. "I just ordered Queen Elizabeth's corset by special delivery." Replied Henry: "I cabled."

Millionaire Henry Clay Folger spent a lifetime cabling—for books, manuscripts and rarities to add to his collection. As a student at Amherst College, he had heard Ralph Waldo Emerson, then 76, deliver a lecture on Shakespeare. Young Henry was enchanted. A few years later, he bought a Shakespeare Folio for $107.50. It took him 30 days to...

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