A very rare Shakespeare First Folio discovered in a French library last year made the trip back to its native country on 23 February.

The book, which contains 36 plays and is one of the most valuable in English literature, surfaced in a library in the northern French town of Saint-Omer in September 2014.

Only around 230 copies of the book, first published seven years after the poet's death and now highly prized by scholars, are known to exist and the latest discovery makes it only the second in France.

It was unearthed by accident by librarian and historian Remy Cordonnier when he was carrying out research for a planned exhibition on the historic links between the small French town of Saint-Omer and the United Kingdom.

The book was carefully wrapped and locked in a box for its trip on a Eurotunnel train to London where it will be presented to the media, historians and academics before being exhibited at the French Institute until 26 February, after which it will return to the Saint-Omer library.

Experts from Christie's Auction House will also get a viewing to be able to price the book and the general public will have a chance to see it, once back in France, this summer from June to August.

The book includes renowned plays such as Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet and The Tempest but thirty pages are missing, including the title page with its iconic portrait of the writer.

With no original manuscripts remaining, Shakespeare scholars frequently rely on subtle differences between extant copies of the Folio to make judgements about the playwright's works.