What is the most famous Shakespearean quotation after ‘To be, or not to be’? It may be ‘first let’s kill all the lawyers’ (a misquotation, actually, according to Jonathan Goldsmith, in the Law Society Gazette, 13/10/2014). But if BIALL members can bring themselves to forgive the Bard (‘The quality of mercy is not strained’), William Shakespeare’s birthplace Stratford upon Avon is well worth a visit. A short hop from Birmingham by train or bus, you can visit three houses associated with the Shakespeare family in Stratford itself, and if you have transport, there are a further two to see just outside (Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and Mary Arden’s Farm). Shakespeare’s grave is in the chancel of Holy Trinity Church, one of England’s most beautiful parish churches.

Stratford is also home to the Royal Shakespeare Company (which doesn’t only perform Shakespeare): if you feel the need to lighten up after a day of plenaries and parallels, you will find that King Lear, and The Duchess of Malfi are in rep during #BIALL18.

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