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.  

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The sixth edition of Henry IV Part 1 was one of three Shakespearean playbooks printed in 1622, the year before the first edition of his collected plays, Mr William Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies, also known as “the First Folio,” was published.
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This is the first edition of Othello, printed in 1622, around eighteen years after it was first written and performed. It was entered into the Stationers’ Company Register on October 6, 1621 by Thomas Walkley, who then had it printed by Nicholas Okes.
This is the sixth edition of Richard III, printed in 1622 for Matthew Law. However, Thomas Creede, the printer for the second through fifth editions, died in 1616 and Law turned to Thomas Purfoot to print this edition.
Three epitaphs to Shakespeare are copied onto the last leaf of this First Folio. The first is from Shakespeare’s monument in Holy Trinity Church.
circa 1623
In 1623, the antiquarian Sir Edward Dering turned the two parts of Henry IV into a single play, cutting 3000 lines from both. Dering’s adaptation is the earliest known manuscript copy, and first documented amateur performance of, a Shakespeare play (or rather, parts of two plays).
The first collected edition of William Shakespeare’s plays is a celebrated volume known as the "First Folio." It is called a “Folio” because of the large-format size of the book.
January 9, 1624
Thomas Quiney, who married William Shakespeare’s daughter Judith in 1616, was elected a capital burgess on August 28, 1617 and served as constable for the years 1617/18, and 1618/19.
March 12, 1624
Dated March 12, 1623/4, this is the fifth of five enrolled indentures of bargain and sale for the Globe site, naming William Shakespeare as a leasee. The Globe playhouse was first built in 1599 on land leased from Sir Nicholas Brend.
Spring 1624
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.