Saturday, April 8, 2017

"how Charles Dickens helped save the house where William Shakespeare was born from the dastardly clutches of PT Barnum"

Barnum visited six years later, and in 1846 when it was announced that the house would be sold, conceived a cunning plan: he would buy it anonymously, ship every brick and timber to the US, and reconstruct it as the star attraction of his museum of curiosities.

“I soon despatched a trusty agent to Stratford-on-Avon armed with cash and full powers to buy the Shakespeare house, if possible, and have it carefully taken down, packed in boxes and shipped to New York. He was cautioned not to mention my name, and to give no hint that the building was ever to leave England,” Barnum recalled in his autobiography.

But word of his plans got out.