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Because Elizabeth’s reign was long and relatively peaceful, society was able to pursue some entertainments more fully than during other reigns. London society, especially, flourished from economic windfalls from peace and from exploration, and since the Queen herself (and therefore all English royalty) enjoyed and supported stage plays, these public presentations, in town and later on the South Bank of the Thames, became the largest public gatherings in this time (challenged only by certain religious gatherings). Travelers from all parts of the world saw London and England in general as a safe and profitable destination for goods and services. Theatre was a place where classes could mix with some ease (although there was a price difference in seating and “groundling” accommodations). Finally, progress in printing and selling play scripts after their performance life meant that non-Londoners could also enjoy the work as literature.
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