Tuesday, July 7, 2015
I LOVE ENGLISH TOWNS.
Stratford-Upon-Avon and Oxford have reinforced the fact that I am not, in fact, a city girl. London is great! Don’t get me wrong. All the little shops, and food places, and museums, and libraries, and cultural epicenters are fantastic… but a girl needs her space, you know? I need wide open areas to roam free where the deer and the antelope play.
Okay. Maybe not antelope… but you get the point!
Stratford-Upon-Avon happens to be the supposed birthplace and actual resting place of one, William Shakespeare. *choral ahhs*
I’ll be honest, my photos aren’t spectacular. I’m no professional photographer, so I’m supplementing the post with exhibitions of those who are. Professional, that is.
We then set off for Shakespeare’s childhood home.
Voila! It’s not actually known if Shakespeare was born here, but it is widely theorized. There’s just no proof, is all.
And look! Right next door is a Carnegie Library!
Is it only librarians that get all excited about libraries? No? Good!!
Andrew Carnegie was a blessedly wonderful human being. Besides being a Scot, he made his money in the American steel industry – as in, a LOT of money. He then proceeded to give away 90% of that wealth to philanthropic causes including local libraries. Ever heard of Carnegie Hall in New York City? How about Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania? Yeaah… they’re named after him.
Being the good English literature loving folk that we are, my group and I also visited Shakespeare’s resting place. He’s located across town inside the Holy Trinity Church.
The people we met inside that church were so incredibly sweet! There is a small fee, but it goes to the church. Shakespeare can be found up front next to his wife, Anne Hathaway. (Not the modern day Anne Hathaway, mind you. The 17th Century woman.)
Obviously, as librarians, we enjoyed seeing the archival entries for his baptism and burial.
In the afternoon we also took it upon ourselves to go upon the Avon via boat. It was quaint and relaxing, though I didn’t get great photos.
The “Fourteas” Tearoom is the cutest tearoom I’ve yet to see! It’s set up as the 1940s during WWII, complete with menus that look like ration cards!
Again, head on over to the food post to see the adorable tea and scones!
Our professors surprised us with tickets to see the Royal Shakespeare Company perform The Merchant of Venice.
I’ve actually read The Merchant of Venice, but have never seen it performed.
It was incredible, I thought! I will let you know that some of the theater students had different views, so I am merely one opinion. I still loved the professional company’s interpretation, though. It held modern twists, but that just allowed me to see it through a new perspective. It’s an interpretation. I could hear the actors acting with their voice as well as see it through their actions. Bravo, I say, to the RSC!