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The Private Life of William Shakespeare: A Book Launch

September’s Research Conversation

New perspectives on events in Shakespeare’s childhood

Join us every month for our free online Research Conversations. Taking place on Zoom on the second Wednesday of every month, our Research Conversations provide you with the opportunity to attend free, online live sessions and listen to people who are engaged in Shakespeare-related research.

On 8 September join us to mark the book launch of 'The Private Life of William Shakespeare', an important archival biography set in Stratford-upon-Avon and focused on the shaping events in Shakespeare’s childhood history, the self-determination he demonstrated in pursuing a literary life, and his lifelong relations with his family and neighbours. Some of the story is told through careful, close readings of documents of which we’ve long been aware but which we have imperfectly understood. Some unfolds in the mini-biographies of other men and women in Elizabethan Stratford. Their well-documented parallel lives help us fill out some of the under-documented gaps in Shakespeare’s own history.

The book introduces new perspectives on Shakespeare’s marriage to Anne Hathaway: why he wed at age 18, how the union made his theatrical career possible, how Anne helped him become a substantial property owner, and what it meant that he left her his ‘second-best bed’.

Led by Professor Lena Orlin, Georgetown University, and Trustee of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

The event begins with a 30-minute presentation and will be followed by an open discussion.

Please note this is an online event held on Zoom.


All of our Research Conversations are free, but if you are in the position where you are able to support us with a donation, no matter large or small, we would be incredibly grateful. As the independent charity dedicated to sharing Shakespeare's work, life and times with the world, we rely on the support of visitors, event attendees, donors and Friends for 98% of our income to help conserve the priceless Shakespearian heritage in our care. Thank you for your support.


Listen back: If you were unable to attend our previous virtual Research Conversations, you can catch up on our audio recordings here

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