Welcome to Shakespeare’s World blog! The only blog dedicated to exploring Shakespeare’s life and works in historical context. We’ll be exploring key events in Shakespeare’s life as well as his immediate and extended family. Some of the questions we will ask are:
- How did Shakespeare get a free education?
- Was Shakespeare a ‘jack-of-all-trades’?
- What was an astrologer’s verdict of The Winter’s Tale in 1611?
- Why was Shakespeare’s father brought to court in 1556?
- What made Shakespeare’s daughter, Susannah, file a lawsuit for slander in 1613?
- Did the young Shakespeare see private performances of travelling players?
- How many godchildren did Shakespeare have?
- Why was Shakespeare’s uncle fined in 1583?
- Did Shakespeare act in Ben Jonson’s plays?
We will also explore key events in England, Europe and the rest of the world in the sixteenth century, as they relate to Shakespeare:
- Did Shakespeare meet the Spanish embassy that arrived in London in 1604?
- Why was Richard II considered a dangerous play during Shakespeare’s lifetime?
- Did Shakespeare write The Merry Wives of Windsor for Elizabeth I?
- Who destroyed the Globe in 1613?
- Why was Shakespeare’s playing company so popular at Christmas time?
- Did Shakespeare witness the riot of London apprentices in Southwark in 1592?
- Which of Shakespeare’s plays was performed outside England during his lifetime?
- Did the wreck of the Sea Venture inspire The Tempest?
- What did visitors to London think of the playhouses during Shakespeare’s lifetime?
- How did Elizabethan sumptuary laws affect Shakespeare’s playing company?
- Did Shakespeare meet Christian IV of Denmark?
- Where was Shakespeare when the Gunpowder Plot was foiled?
Events such as Henry VIII’s religious reforms in England and the Battle of Lepanto in the Mediterranean, as well as the publication of Shakespeare’s first works in London and his numerous law suits and business transactions. Jousts, jesters and saints from medieval England, and merchants, martyrs and witches from early modern England all feature in the blog. Explore how they feature in Shakespeare’s works!
The latest research underpins the blog and the app related to it, Shakespeare’s World App, which further explores the Shakespearean themes and historical inquiry. Read more developed scholarly articles on aspects of Shakespeare’s world including early modern playhouses, actors and playing companies. Guides to Shakespeare’s plays offer synopses and foreground historical context, while a cross-referenced calendar and timeline explores defining historical event in the fifteenth and sixteenth century. An interactive map offers a virtual tour of Shakespeare’s life and chart his journeys to and from London and Stratford-upon-Avon, as well as his travels around England on tour with the Lord Chamberlain’s Men.
A full bibliography provides suggestions for further reading. Visit our blog post dedicated to Further Reading with its annotated guide to some of the latest research as well as a full bibliography of works consulted.
© 2017 Shakespeare’s World
To read more about this topic and other events on this day in Shakespeare’s lifetime, you can see our recommendations for further reading and visit our website to buy Shakespeare’s World App or to follow us on social media.