|Description: A book with a black cushion cover with gold lettering on the front and spine titled "The Works of Shakespeare". Opposite the title page is an engraving of William Shakespeare, with a copy of his signature below. The book was 'carefully edited from the best texts.' Included in the book is a memoir and glossary. |
William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon on April 23, 1564. He was the son of John Shakespeare, a glover and leather merchant, and Mary Arden, a landed local heiress. Shakespeare very likely attended some school though there is no record of where. He did not attend University. On November 28, 1582 at the age of 18 he married Anne Hathaway. They had three children, Susanna born May 26, 1583 and twins Hamnet and Judith born February 2, 1585. Hamnet died at age 11 in 1596. For the seven years following the birth of his twins, William Shakespeare disappeared from all records. This period is known as the "Lost Years". It is thought that Shakespeare arrived in London around 1588 and began to establish himself as an actor and playwright. By 1594, he was not only acting and writing for the Lord Chamberlain's Men, but was a managing partner in the operation as well. Shakespeare’s company was the most successful in London in his day. He was sufficiently successful as to have his plays sold as popular literature during the middle of his career. Shakespeare also owned a share in the theatre company and the Globe theatre. His success allowed him to purchase New House and retire in comfort to Stratford in 1611. Shakespeare was interred at Holy Trinity in Stratford on April 25 1616. In 1623, two working companions of Shakespeare from the Lord Chamberlain's Men printed the First Folio edition of his collected plays, of which half were previously unpublished.