In 1623, one kilogram of tobacco was roughly five times more expensive than Shakespeare’s newly published First Folio. The entire collection, which cost only £1, contained thirty-six of his works, many of which incorporate 16th- and 17th-century notions of status, wealth, and money. Most of his characters are garbed in colors and fabrics befitting their social standing, and he frequently presents foreign currencies alongside English coins. So how do the rich and poor fare in Elizabethan England? Explore the infographic below to discover the coins, dress, and literacy of Shakespeare’s world.
Featured Image: “A party in the Open Air. Allegory on Conjugal Love” by Isaac Oliver. Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons