Stratford-upon-Avon The Biography
The history of the city through the voices of Stratford-upon-Avon’s inhabitants, from its earliest origins to the present
Series: The Biography
- Nicholas Fogg
15th August 2014
The birthplace of Shakespeare, Stratford-upon-Avon is a celebrated and much-visited town. From the probable origins of Stratford as a monastic settlement, to the foundation of a ‘new town’ in the Middle Ages and the development of a miniature Christian commonwealth under the medieval guilds, the town’s early years are traced in fascinating detail. These pages hold a full account of the Civil War, the Commonwealth and the Restoration, followed by the languor of the Georgian era. Victorian revival and the growth of modern communications led to the disappearance of much of old Stratford, while the present century has seen both change and conservation.
The town’s Shakespeare connections ensured keen interest in its local records as early as the eighteenth century, so they are probably the fullest archives for any place in England, providing a uniquely detailed picture of town life through the centuries. Extensive research into these records, as well as into the memories of Stratfordians past and present, results in a portrait of a town that is at once lively and thorough. We meet the greats (Warwick the Kingmaker, William Shakespeare, Oliver Cromwell, David Garrick, James Boswell, Queen Victoria) and also the generations of townspeople whose lives and works made Stratford what it is today. The book is a celebration of a wonderful town and of those who have called it home.