Although it is not actually known which day in 1564 William Shakespeare was born, his birth is celebrated on 23rd April because he was baptised on 26th April and baptism usually took place around three days after birth. It is also St George’s Day, so it seems a fitting day to pay tribute to the Bard.
You can find out all about Shakespeare in my article William Shakespeare, which is full of facts about the man and his life. Shakespeare has a special place in my heart because I grew up just a few miles from Stratford-upon-Avon, went on school trips to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and studied his plays at school and university. I love his work and so want to be a part of the #happybirthdayshakespeare project, “a project by bloggers around the world to celebrate the impact of Stratford’s greatest son” – see www.happybirthdayshakespeare.com/. I’ve chosen to celebrate by asking you to comment below by sharing your favourite Shakespeare quotation, speech, sonnet… Whatever you like. Simply share it, say which piece it’s from and give your reason for sharing it. It would also be good if you share where you’re from. I’ll start it off (see below).
By the way, today also marks the death of Shakespeare! He died on 23rd April 1616.
On this day in history, 26th February 1564, Christopher Marlowe, poet, translator and playwright, was baptised at St George’s Canterbury. Marlowe’s works included Tamburlaine, Dr Faustus, The Jew of Malta and The Passionate Shepherd to his Love. Marlovians believe that Marlowe was responsible for the works attributed to William Shakespeare.
Here are two clips from the same scene of Doctor Faustus, but different productions. The first is a clip from a 2010 production of Doctor Faustus performed at Greenwich Theatre and the second is the film starring Richard Burton as Faustus and Elizabeth Taylor as Helen of Troy. It is the scene where Mephistopheles has conjured up Helen to distract Faustus from his thoughts of repentance and to persuade him to keep his pact with Lucifer. It is a wonderful play.
On this day in history, on the morning of the 8th February 1587, Mary, Queen of Scots, was escorted to the great hall of Fotheringhay Castle and executed by beheading. You can read more about Mary’s execution in my article “The Execution of Mary Queen of Scots” and about Mary herself in the following articles: [… Read More]
On 22nd January 1552, between 8am and 9am, the former Lord Protector of England, Edward Seymour, Duke of Seymour, was executed on Tower Hill. He had been arrested on 11th October 1549, his charges, in the words of his nephew, Edward VI, being: “ambition, vainglory, entering into rash wars in mine youth, negligent looking on [… Read More]
At midday on January 15th 1559, Elizabeth I was crowned Queen of England at Westminster Abbey – Long Live the Queen! I have written about Elizabeth’s coronation previously and here links to them, including an article about Dr John Dee’s astrological Coronation chart: The Coronation of Elizabeth I – 15th January 1559 Elizabeth I’s Coronation [… Read More]
On this day in history, 30th November 1601, Elizabeth I delivered her famous Golden Speech to the House of Commons, addressing their concerns over England’s economic state of affairs. It was her final speech to Parliament and in it she spoke of her love and respect for her realm and for her members of Parliament. [… Read More]
“This is the Lord’s doing: it is marvellous in our eyes”. These are the words from Psalm 118 said to have been uttered by Elizabeth I as she sank to her knees under a great oak tree at Hatfield Palace. She had just received the news that her half-sister, Mary I, was dead and that [… Read More]
I just wanted to alert you to a guest post and giveaway over at The Anne Boleyn Files. Historical fiction author Jeane Westin gives a behind-the-scenes look at an historical novelist’s life and is giving away a copy of her latest novel, The Spymaster’s Daughter, which is all about Sir Francis Walsingham’s daughter, Frances. Click [… Read More]
On 10th October 1562, the twenty-nine year-old Elizabeth I was taken ill at Hampton Court Palace, with what was thought to be a bad cold. However, the cold developed into a violent fever and it became clear that the young queen actually had smallpox. Elizabeth became so seriously ill with the disease that it was [… Read More]
On this day in 1553, Mary I, eldest daughter of Henry VIII, was crowned Queen at Westminster Abbey by Stephen Gardiner, the Bishop of Winchester. Mary was the first crowned queen regnant of England. You can read all the details of her coronation in my post The Coronation of Mary I.