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Shakespeare died 400 years ago, but today more people than ever know his name, and his plays are among the best-selling works of all time. Shakespeare’s enduring fame was predicted by one of his playwriting friends, Ben Jonson. After Shakespeare’s death, Ben Jonson described him as “a monument without a tomb” and proclaimed that “he was not of an age but for all time!” The first edition of his collected plays in 1623, known as the First Folio, solidified this legacy, and original copies are considered to be some of the most valuable books in the world.

Shakespeare died on April 23, 1616, at the age of 52. He was buried two days later in Holy Trinity Church at Stratford-upon-Avon. The epitaph on his monument, written soon after, refers to him as a writer whose wit exceeds that of all living writers: “all that he hath writ / leaves living art but page unto his wit.” Friends and colleagues acknowledged the loss of the great writer in their own epitaphs and elegies, contributing to his posthumous role as a literary icon.  

All Documents

ca. 1620
SHAKESPEARE DOCUMENTED IS STILL GROWING! Descriptive content and transcriptions will continue to be added, updated and expanded. Check back for regular updates!
1619- 1620
SHAKESPEARE DOCUMENTED IS STILL GROWING! Descriptive content and transcriptions will continue to be added, updated and expanded. Check back for regular updates!
1619- 1620
SHAKESPEARE DOCUMENTED IS STILL GROWING! Descriptive content and transcriptions will continue to be added, updated and expanded. Check back for regular updates!
1619 - 1620
SHAKESPEARE DOCUMENTED IS STILL GROWING! Descriptive content and transcriptions will continue to be added, updated and expanded. Check back for regular updates!
1620
SHAKESPEARE DOCUMENTED IS STILL GROWING! Descriptive content and transcriptions will continue to be added, updated and expanded. Check back for regular updates!
February 21, 1622
SHAKESPEARE DOCUMENTED IS STILL GROWING! Descriptive content and transcriptions will continue to be added, updated and expanded. Check back for regular updates!
ca. 1622
This the fourth edition of Romeo and Juliet. It was printed sometime around 1622 by John Windet for John Smethwicke.
Autumn 1622
The principal book fair in Western Europe was held biannually in Frankfurt, Germany. While most books offered at the fair were in Latin, by 1618-1619 booksellers advertised books in English in printed catalogs.
1622
SHAKESPEARE DOCUMENTED IS STILL GROWING! Descriptive content and transcriptions will continue to be added, updated and expanded. Check back for regular updates!
1622
SHAKESPEARE DOCUMENTED IS STILL GROWING! Descriptive content and transcriptions will continue to be added, updated and expanded. Check back for regular updates!

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