Tuesday, April 23, 2013

April 23 - William Shakespeare

Today is the 449th birthday of William Shakespeare, who is understood to have been born on April 23, 1564, in Stratford-upon-Avon, England, and baptized there on April 26. Records indicate that he married 26-year-old Anne Hathaway at age 18 in November 1582. Six months after the marriage, Anne gave birth to a daughter, Susanna. Twins, son Hamnet and daughter Judith, were born in 1585. Hamnet died of unknown causes at age 11. After the birth of the twins, Shakespeare left few historical traces until he was mentioned as part of the London theater scene in 1592. Those intervening seven years are referred to as Shakespeare's "lost years." Contemporary allusions and performance records indicate that several of Shakespeare’s plays were mounted on the London stage by 1592. His first recorded plays are Richard III and the three parts of Henry VI, which he wrote in the early 1590s, when historical dramas were in vogue. Pictured: a copy of the First Folio of Shakespeare's plays, 1623.

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