Going Slow in Stratford-upon-Avon
I once overheard a stateside tourist, clearly having been on one of those ‘Britain-in-a-week’ kind of holidays, respond to his wife, ‘Stratford-upon-Avon? Now which one was that?’ Stratford must surely leave a more lasting impression. And yet, where would Stratford be without Shakespeare? There are some who believe the town would be considerably better off if he’d been born somewhere else. Financially, I doubt that very much. I’m in the camp that’s pleased as punch he was born in Stratford.
The exterior of Mary Arden’s farm © Shakespeare Birthplace Trust
The author’s story
Given my upbringing close to the town, I consider myself extremely fortunate to live in such close proximity to Shakespeare’s legacies. Indeed, there’s a gaping hole in Stratford’s make-up if you don’t at least acknowledge his importance to the town. So, rather than divide Stratford into geographical areas, I’ve split this chapter into two: Shakespeare’s Stratford and – because there is more to Stratford than the literary man – everything else.