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William Shakespeare 400th Anniversary William Shakespeare 400 Anniversary

William Shakespeare was an English poet, playwright and actor, born in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1564. To mark the 400 Anniversary of his death we have selected a number of books to help your children discover more about the life and works of the greatest playwright of all time.

Featured Books
Monstrous Little Voices Five New Tales from Shakespeare's Fantasy World by David Thomas Moore
Monstrous Little Voices Five New Tales from Shakespeare's Fantasy World
David Thomas Moore
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. There has been a veritable tsunami of new titles issued by publishers to celebrate (or exploit) Shakespeare's 400th anniversary; at least we appear to have been spared...
Format: Paperback - Released: 10/03/2016
Globe Life in Shakespeare's London by Catharine Arnold
Globe Life in Shakespeare's London
Catharine Arnold
A fascinating portrait of life in Shakespeare's London, seen from the theatrical perspective, by popular historian, Catharine Arnold. Arnold creates a vivid portrait of Shakespeare and his London from the bard's own plays and contemporary sources, combining a novelist's eye...
Format: Paperback - Released: 07/04/2016
A Smidgen of Shakespeare Brush Up on the Bard with Quotations, Trivia and Frolics by Geoff Spiteri
A Smidgen of Shakespeare Brush Up on the Bard with Quotations, Trivia and Frolics
Geoff Spiteri
I was once lucky enough to see the late – and great actor Michael Bryant play Iago,his command of the text such that the whole play came alight - a reminder of how, without such brilliance, Shakespeare can be frustrating...
Format: Hardback - Released: 10/03/2016
The Gap of Time The Winter's Tale Retold by Jeanette Winterson
The Gap of Time The Winter's Tale Retold
Jeanette Winterson
Jeanette Winterson's cover version of The Winter's Tale vibrates with echoes of Shakespeare's original and tells a story of hearts broken and hearts healed, a story of revenge and forgiveness, a story that shows that whatever is lost shall be...
Format: Paperback - Released: 23/06/2016
Shakespeare in Ten Acts by Gordon McMullan
Shakespeare in Ten Acts
Gordon McMullan
In this book ten leading experts take a fresh look at Shakespeare, reminding us that the playwright's iconic status has been constructed over the centuries in a process that continues across the world today.
Format: Paperback - Released: 07/04/2016
I Love Shakespeare 400 Fantastic Facts by Warren King
I Love Shakespeare 400 Fantastic Facts
Warren King
This fun little book, containing 400 fantastic facts about the Bard and his work and more than 100 illustrations, will delight fans everywhere!
Format: Paperback - Released: 20/01/2016
Shakespeare's Strangest Tales Extraordinary but True Tales from 400 Years of Shakespearean Theatre by Iain Spragg
Shakespeare's Strangest Tales Extraordinary but True Tales from 400 Years of Shakespearean Theatre
Iain Spragg
A fascinating playbill of stories from the weird and wonderful world of Shakespearean theatre through the centuries, including distinguished actors falling off stages, fluffed lines, performances in the dark, and why you must never, ever say the name of that...
Format: Paperback - Released: 14/04/2016
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Willliam Shakespeare

A 400 Year Legacy

We know little about the early life of William Shakespeare, but do know that at 18 he married Anne Hathaway and had three children, Susanna and then twins Hamnet and Judith. His son, Hamnet died in childhood.


By 1592 he had moved to London and was working as an actor and playwright, and part of an acting company which later became known as the King's Men. This company had interests in the Globe Theatre on the Southbank and the Blackfriars indoor theatre, and by 1594 Shakespeare's playwrighting began in earnest.  He was a prolific writer, producing around two plays a year, he prospered and his reputation grew. 

 

His early plays were mostly histories and comedies - Midsummer Night's Dream, Henry VI, The Taming of the Shrew, Richard III amongst others.  By early 1600 he was writing some of his greatest tragedies such as Hamlet, Macbeth and King Lear.


Shakespeare spent the last five years of his life living in New Place in Stratford and died on 23 April 1616 at the age of 52.  He was buried two days later in the chancel of Holy Trinity Church, Stratford and is also commemorated in Poets' Corner, Westminster Abbey.


Known as the Bard of Avon, William Shakespeare is widely accepted to have been the greatest playwright of all time and his poems and plays are studied and performed all over the world.
 


To mark the anniversary there are numerous events including :

The Complete Walk with The Globe Theatre : A walk along the Thames celebrating scenes from Shakespeare's plays.

Shakespeare400 : A rich variety of exhibitions and talks on theatre, manuscripts, archaeology and artifacts from Shakespeare's world.

And performances across the capital and beyond at The Globe, Barbican and Royal Festival Hall - find out more here.


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