Literary celebrity expands beyond the literary canon, inspiring fan cults that resemble those otherwise devoted to icons of popular culture. Standing above and apart in the scope of their fame, Shakespeare and Austen also claim pride of place in the number and ingenuity of the physical objects created to represent them. Now that these two stars are summoned by their first names to appear together at the Folger in the presence of the tchochkes collected in their memory, it's time to ask what heavenly magic they have in common that makes so many admirers want to bring them down to earth.
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Alternate titles: Shakespeare's Birthday Lecture: Stars Down to Earth: Materializing Celebrity