• “They say you should write what you know, but the greatest writer of all   completely ignored the world on his doorstep. William Shakespeare set plays  in Venice, Rome, Scotland and other locations around the world. Some of his   plays revolve around the British Court, but he set almost nothing in the rough-and-tumble of 16th-century London or sleepy Stratford upon Avon, where   he spent most of his life.”

      “This is all the more puzzling when, as a new exhibition at the London   Metropolitan Archive (LMA) proves, his life was so intimately bound up with   the capital. ”

    • “As always with Shakespeare, the details are tantalisingly sketchy. Over the   centuries, scholars have tried to flesh out a story on the barest of bones. “A lot of what we have is subjective,” says Laurence Ward, the chief   archivist at the LMA, “but that’s part of what makes it so interesting.”
    • “His wife and children lived in Stratford, and it’s appealing to imagine him as a weekly commuter, seeing the family and pottering in the garden at weekends, before returning to the city during the week to work on his plays.”

      “Other details from the time are refreshingly familiar to modern residents.  Carts were banned from waiting outside theatres during performances, because they clogged up the roads. They had to go away and come back when the show was finished. ”

    • “Shakespeare died in 1616, three years after he bought his Blackfriars property. In his will, he left the house to his daughter, but at the time of his death he had a lodger. Pub-goer, evicted tenant, weekly commuter, tax-dodger, good neighbour, and buy-to-let landlord: at the start of the 17th century, Shakespeare had a life in property as rich and varied as any today.”

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