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A Short Life Of Shakespeare With The Source

Topographers give the name of Arden to Warwickshire north of the Avon and distin- guish it as the Woodland from the cultivated champaign of the Feldon to the south. But even on the north bank of the river there were open cornfields, as well as many enclosed pastures, and frequent hamlets tell of early clear- ings on the fringe of Arden. The lord had his boscus at Stratford in the thirteenth century and later a park, but Leland says that little woodland was visible there in his time.

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Charals Williams

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Mūlattuṭaṉ ṣēkspiyariṉ kuṟukiya vāḻkkai


Oxford At The Clarendon Press

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WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE was born of burgess folk, not unlike those in The Merry Wives of Windsor. Stratford-on-Avon was a provincial market town, and counted with Henley-in-Arden after the city of Coventry and the borough of Warwick among the business centres of Warwickshire. It stood on the north bank of the Avon, where a ford had once been traversed by a minor Roman thoroughfare. A medieval wooden bridge had been re- placed at the end of the fifteenth century by the stone one which still survives. The great western highway, following the line of Watling Street to Shrewsbury and Chester, passed well to the north through Coventry. But at Strat- ford bridge met two lesser roads from London, one by Oxford and under the Cotswolds, the other by Banbury and Edgehill; and beyond it ways radiated through Strat- ford itself to Warwick, Birmingham, Alcester, and Evesham. ‘Emporiolum non inelegans’ is the description of the place in Camden’s Britannia (1586), and Leland, who visited it about 1540, records that it was ‘reasonably well buyldyd of tymbar’, with ‘two or three very lardge stretes, besyde bake lanes’.


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