3 million pounds for Shakespeare's book

This earliest collected edition of Shakespeare's works has been given a guide price of between £2.5m and £3.5m. The purchaser will also have to pay a "buyer's premium" of 12% to the auction house, according to Guardian unlimited

About 750 copies of the first folio were printed, with about a third of them surviving to the present day, most of them incomplete.

But the copy on sale today is described as one of the "two finest" to appear at auction in London since the Second World War, Telegraph.co.uk reports.

The folio is being sold alongside other historic lots at Sotheby's sale of English Literature and History in New Bond Street.

Other lots at the sale include a first collected edition of Shakespeare's poems, published in 1640, expected to fetch up to £120,000, and a first edition of James Joyce's masterpiece Ulysses, which has a guide price of £25,000-£35,000.