Tag Archives: Shakespearian biography

Everything to declare – except my genius

‘not beneath him in fortunes, beyond him in the advantage of the time, above him in birth, alike conversant in general services, and more remarkable…’ Cymbeline 4.1. In Edgar Fripp’s introductions to the first four volumes of the Minutes and Accounts of the Corporation of Stratford-upon-Avon the reader grapples with the minutiae of the lives […]

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John Shakespeare Behind the Parapet

‘Cry ‘Courage! to the field!’ And thou hast talk’d Of sallies and retires, of trenches, tents, Of palisadoes, frontiers, parapets’ Henry IV Part 1, 2.3. A Tudor Statute of 1523 required commissioners to return nominal listings of all those taxed to the Exchequer. This followed a joint “muster” and fiscal assessment of the previous year. […]

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Unearthing Shakespeare: an early overview of the site

Unearthing Shakespeare – Part 9

Phase 2 of Dig for Shakespeare took place during 2011. That season saw continued public popularity and an increased media interest in the site with attendance by both BBC (National Treasures Live in September) and Channel 4 (Time Team, filmed in September and October, broadcast two weeks ago). Phase two taught us more about the […]

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From 'The Troublesome Reign of King John'

Shakespeare: A Boy Player Himself?

I asked Ollie Jones how he’d benefitted from The Louis Marder Shakespeare Centre Scholarship… ‘My research starts with a rather innocuous record in the Minutes and Accounts of the Stratford Corporation, housed in the collections of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust archive. Here, in addition to the more expected entry recording a reward to the royal […]

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The foundations of New Place

Unearthing Shakespeare – Part 8

During the 2010 excavations, three trenches were excavated across the site. The first was excavated at the frontage and exposed the remains of the cellar and house foundations. These foundations dated primarily to the 18th century (1702). There were however foundations surviving from Shakespeare’s house, made up of local Wilmcote limestone. Other building materials recovered […]

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A gentleman archaeologist: James Orchard Halliwell-Phillipps, 1872

Unearthing Shakespeare – Part 7

Today I strike the ground on the first day of the third and final phase of ‘Dig for Shakespeare’. It seemed timely to take stock and to reflect a little on something we learned during phase one… During the first season, back in 2010, we were able to re-expose the foundations identified by Halliwell-Phillipps and […]

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A Tudor-brick storage pit.

Unearthing Shakespeare – Part 6

Towards the back of the New Place plot is a replica Tudor Knot Garden, this is located in the area thought to have been within the back plot (gardens) away from the main New Place structures. The Knot Garden was constructed by Earnst Law in 1919-20. During this time the original ground levels were reduced […]

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Ben Jonson: 'a staring Leviathan [with] a terrible mouth' (John Aubrey)

Ben Jonson and Shakespeare

Ian Donaldson’s marvellously fresh and up to date biography of Ben Jonson sets a new standard for all future Jonson studies. He came to speak about the relationship between Jonson and Shakespeare at The Shakespeare Centre on Wednesday at our first Literary Lunchtime Talk of the year. The event was sponsored by Oxford University Press. […]

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James Orchard Halliwell-Phillipps's 1860s dig

Unearthing Shakespeare – Part 5

Following the airing of Channel 4’s popular television programme, Time Team on Sunday evening, here is another episode from on the ground. Interest in the site and home of New Place continued unabated and in 1861, its gardens and barns was acquired by J.O Halliwell-Phillipps, an enthusiastic student of William Shakespeare’s history. He gave the […]

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