I never knew that Shakespeare’s work wasn’t really that popular when he died. As explained on a recent Annotated podcast, plays in his day were a form pop culture. The author’s fame had fizzled when he passed on. But a few of his friends were intent on ensuring his reputation as a great playwright survived. They took a gamble to publish a dramatic “boxed set” of his work (what we know as the first folio) and lucked out when the rise of Puritanism in England created the conditions to bring the Bard’s corpus back to life. It’s well worth a listen.
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