Friday, 24 January 2014

Shakespeare - the bard of Avon - on everything including stamps!

We recently spent a day  in Shakespeare's home town, Stratford-Upon-Avon. It was a new experience for our youngest daughter,  now 18, as she couldn't remember her last visit .. but she was just 3 years old then! Everywhere, there are reminders of  the Bard of Avon. Even the Bank has his portrait over the door! And  the local branch of W H Smith uses a quotation from Titus Andronicus to entice customers inside! And I didn't know Anne Hathaway had tea rooms!

 Of course it's an expensive day out if you choose to visit all the landmarks associated with him, but the great thing for locals is that you can get a Season ticket, and return at your leisure to do all the Shakespeare sites over the period of a year! We had a leisurely stroll around the Shakespeare's Birthplace museum, Hall's place - the home of his daughter Susanne and her husband, and enjoyed the gardens where there are some wonderful sculptures  - characters from his plays with relevant quotations, and yet more sculptures down by the River Avon.
Shakespeare's birthplace

Tim and Basia Clegg of Torbay Stamp Centre  also recently made reference to stamps issued to commemmorate William Shakespeare, in their latest Youtube film, The truth about first day covers (part 6 of their series about stamp collecting). It  features a cover  bought on board the Queen Mary II signed by Judi Dench!  It's well worth watching and we can  look forward to a new book about Shakespeare too!
Shakespeare festival stamps issued in 1964
 GB Shakespeare stamps celebrating 50 years of the Royal Shakespeare company were issued in  April 2011. They include stamps featuring quotations from Hamlet -" To be or not to be, that is the Question" and  Romeo and Juliet- : "Wherefore art thou Romeo?"

detail from the Cobbe portrait of William Shakespeare

  • Since our previous visit  a newly authenticated portrait of Shakespeare has also been added to the exhibits in the Birthplace Museum.  Known as the Cobbe portrait, this beautiful painting was previously held in the Cobbe Collection of art.  A rather different image of William Shakespeare from the one we are used to seeing, and I wonder if it will ever appear on a stamp.

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