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Shakespeare's Life
• Stratford Beginnings

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Stratford Beginnings

William Shakespeare grew up in Stratford-upon-Avon, worked in London, and returned to Stratford a wealthy man. He is buried in Stratford.

Shakespeare almost certainly attended the King's New School in Stratford, a grammar school that educated young men in Latin grammar and literature. Boys began at four or five in the "petty school," where they learned reading and writing. After two years, they entered the lower form, which covered Latin grammar and texts. At ten or eleven, they went to the upper form, where they wrote Latin speeches, studied Latin history and rhetoric, and learned Greek.

In 1582, at eighteen, Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway. Their daughter Susanna was born in 1583 and the twins, Judith and Hamnet, in 1585. (His daughters lived to adulthood, but Hamnet died in 1596.)

At some point, he left for the London theatrical world, where he was an important figure by the early 1590s.

Continue ... Success in London

Adapted from Barbara A. Mowat and Paul Werstine (editors), Folger Library Shakespeare editions. © 2005 Folger Shakespeare Library
P. Dighton. The exterior of the house in which Shakespeare was born. Watercolor, 1834

J. R. Planche. Stratford church, river, and mill. Watercolor, 19th century

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