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Shakespeare & Beyond

"Thorny hedgehogs, be not seen": Hedgehogs in Shakespeare's plays and the early modern imagination

hedgehog illustration
hedgehog illustration

Edward Topsell. The historie of foure-footed beastes. 1607. FOLGER STC 24123 copy 1

While the global population of European hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) is stable, their numbers have been rapidly declining in the UK for decades, especially in rural areas. This has led to a huge upswell of conservation efforts as people try to protect the UK’s only spiny mammal, and one of these efforts is centered in Shakespeare’s birthplace, Stratford-upon-Avon, which has dubbed itself a Hedgehog-Friendly Town.

Stratford’s most famous resident paints a less-than-flattering picture of the humble hedgehog, however.


3 halfe penny white loafes of what?

Gordon Geise — February 26, 2020

I’m guessing it’s bread. My question is how much bread is that?

Paul T Sharko — February 28, 2020

If you want to see hedgehogs, go to Visby, Sweden. They come out at dusk in Almedal park in downtown Visby.

Robert Hammarberg — March 4, 2020