The World Is on Fire

globe on fireWell, it was. At least, the Globe was on fire, on this very day in 1613. The illustrious Bard was still among the living and had completed all but one of his plays (or all of his plays, depending on your view of the provenance of Two Noble Kinsmen).

There’s our Bill, having spent health, fortune, and toil jotting down the finest words ever strung together in English, watching the only venue where his plays could be performed go up in smoke. Sometimes I think I’m having a bad day and then I remember this. Good work will pay off, we must continue to believe, even if we’re not the ones collecting.

For Shakespeare, those collecting are publishers. (Good thing, too, because they’re not collecting on much else besides adult coloring books.) The plays have been translated into more than 100 languages, included, I kid thee not, Klingon (buy’gnop!). About ten million copies are sold yearly (as individual plays or collections), making for a tidy sum to either offset the earnings of a house’s more literary offerings or augment the fat coin rolling in for 50 Shades of GreySo, the Bard’s gifts keep giving, as he helps the book trade keep body and soul knit together.

Let’s return the favor. Dust off that copy of Midsummer (this one has pictures!) you’ve had since high school, take in a live performance, or brush up on your Shakespearean insults (if you’re going to insult someone anyway, you might as well be classy about it). Or, if you’re especially high-minded, treat yourself to the whole shebang. This tome is an all-in-one self-improvement manual, personality enhancer, and home security system.

As Bill himself would advise, “Assume a virtue if you have it not” (Hamlet, Act III, Scene 4).

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