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4/22/2008

Bardsville on Avon

William Shakespeare was my kind of guy. In 1582, at the age of 18, he married Anne Hathaway. Their first daughter, Judith, was born 6 months later. 6 months. Not 9. 6. In that day and age ..... Anyway, it seems our hero was something of a toyboy. Willy was 18. Anne was 26. In 1582, a 26 year old young woman was well past her Sell By date. And Willy was a catch. He was of a well-to-do family. His father was one of the 22 licensed glove makers in Stratford-on-Avon. Given the size and location of his house (seen below), he was doing okey by gum golly dokey.



The entire second floor of the building and the left-hand half of the ground floor were given over to the needs of the family and whatever urchins the family kept as indentured apprentices for the glove business. Said glove business was run out of the workshop on the right-hand side of the gound floor. The doorway furthest to the right was actually an entrance for horse and/or buggy that led through the building to a courtyard on the other side of the building. Zachary is actually standing in front of the 'residential' entrance to the building.



The above street scene is from the street in front of Shakespeare's home, looking down into the town, in the general direction of the Avon. The bell tower you see down the street is the Barclay's Bank building. There are several buildings in this scene which Willy would recognize. Except for the paved street, he might even, given enough time to really study the scene, recognize it as his home town.

Tomorrow, the re-constructed Globe Theatre.

16 comments:

Hyphen Mama said...

Kenny Rogers may not have sung about you, but I'd sure write a song about you if'n I was the song writin' sort!

I feel so cultured after reading your blog. Places I may or may not ever see, but now I want to. I can't wait for the tour to continue. When your trip to the UK is finished being blogged about, I hope you are planning another trip, so I can live vicariously through you.

LceeL said...

Hyphen Mama: That has to be one of the sweetest comments I have ever gotten. I am overwhelmed. I really am.

Nicole said...

I didn't know his father was a glove maker, nor that his wife was older than him.
I really learn a lot thanks to your trip :)!
Thanks!

And lovely shots - I love the street scenes!

Allison said...

This is perhaps the only reason EVER for me to go to England. Only reason.

Cool that you got to see all that. :-)

Sandy C. said...

"past her Sell By Date"- You're terrible! LOL :)
That is one massive house! And I love that street. Looks like it was a bit cold and wet while you were there.

thegrandview said...

Lou,
DId you ever hear the scholars' argument the Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford is the actual author of Shakespeare's plays? If you and you're family are wealthy you can make anything happen.

LceeL said...

Nicole: I didn't know those things either.

Allison: Yes, it was cool. I love travel. Period. It so broadens the mind and experience.

Sandy: That was THEN. 'Sell By' dates are somewhat extended, these days. and yes, it WAS cold and wet. And it limited the number of pictures I took.

thegrandview: I've also heard the theory that Bacon wrote his plays, as well. There's too much documentation supporting Willy to really believe that stuff.

warriorwoman said...

I asked my friend once how to understand Shakespeare and she replied, "don't worry about it, they all die in the end"

anyway.....that looks like a nice little town. Lucky you for having done the travel

The Intracerebral Itinerary said...

Very nice. I love architecture (when it hasn't gone horribly wrong) and old English houses.
Now I just wish I could get the thought of pocket catalogs and cheap perfume out of my head whenever someone mentions "Avon-" I might have to GO there to break the psychological connotations...

Rebecca said...

That wacky Bill! ;)

B said...

i thought there was a theory that shakespeare was homosexual and only married to cover it up or something?

suppose there's a historian from every era that likes to make everyone gay... isn't hitler gay also according to some.

MommyTime said...

Nice photos -- fun to hear the tale again. From what I gather, it used to be common in country towns for people to view a pregnancy as a sign from God that the union was a good one -- so that was the time to get married. I don't know when (if) this was really "common" practice -- but studies of birth records even in the 19th century suggest there were an awful lot of "preterm" first babies being born... funny, huh?

On an unrelated note, I just wanted to let you know that your comments make my day almost every day. Thanks!

OHmommy said...

I too agree with Mommytime. Your comments are the best!

I recently attended the lecture of a very reputable author that laughed at the fact that American children were forced to read Shakepeare plays when in fact they were meant to be watched.

I have been thinking about that for awhile. As a former English teacher I am torn.

Elizabeth said...

I love a little culture first thing in the morning! :)

Lady Language said...

Wow, the Globe Theatre would be a cool building to paint. Perhaps that should be your next masterpiece?

Amanda (Shamelessly Sassy) said...

I enjoy these posts. I was only in England for 3 days. I didn't really get to see as much as I wanted. I'm also with MommyTime. Your comments are always fabulous and hilarious.