Books · Theatre

Happy Birthday William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare portrait by Chandos

Today is round about Willie the Shake’s birthday; no-one really knows when it was. Although the date of his death (which is known to be 23rd April in 1616) is reputed also to have been the date of his birth in 1564, the effect of the introduction of the Gregorian calendar in 1582, when 10 days were “lost” in England, confuses the issue.
The picture above is known as the Chandos portrait and is generally accepted nowadays as being the most likely to be a likeness. A previous contender was the Flower portrait below, which is what they sell at the RSC (I think it was given to them by the Flower family.)

William Shakespeare, Flower portrait

Either way, Happy Birthday William Shakespeare; still sounding groovy at 449-ish.

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