Workes

Ben Jonson published this folio edition of his works in the year of Shakespeare’s death. It included two collections of poems, several masques (courtly entertainments that combined words with music and dance) and nine plays. The inclusion of dramatic works alongside more serious literary forms was unprecedented, and some of Jonson’s contemporaries commented on it. ‘Pray tell me Ben, where doth the mistery lurke, / What others call a play you call a work’, wrote one anonymous writer. Jonson took a close interest in its production, by one of the country’s leading printing houses, and presented his literary achievements with great deliberation.