Barnum and Shakespeare
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Barnum and Shakespeare book
This chapter presents an article Following the Equator: A Journey Around the World, 2 vols. New York and London, 1897. It presents Barnum's account of the attempt to purchase Shakespeare's house on hearing that it was getting ruined through neglect. Barnum, after reading the news about the Stratford-on-Avon house in a newspaper, decided to buy the house, set up a museum in New York, and put up a glass case around the house and make a sacred thing of it. He bought the house and received properly attested documents of sale. However, the news about the sale stirred England and protests came flowing in along with money to stop the outrage. Barnum accepted an offer of re-purchase and handed the house back, but took only the sum which it had cost him. His condition, that an endowment sufficient for the future safeguarding and maintenance of the sacred relic should be raised, was, though, fulfilled.