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16 May 2016

Dr Liz Dollimore, with Dr Graham Atkin from the Department of English at the University of Chester.

We were delighted to welcome alumna, Dr Liz Dollimore, back to Campus to speak in the first of a series of talks in the University's Shakespeare @400 season, marking the quadricentennial commemoration of the Bard's death Alumna.

Hosted by the Department of English, Dr Dollimore who studied both a BA and PhD in English at the University,  opened the series with a presentation 'What we do and don't know about Shakespeare'.

Dr Dollimore, who works as the Outreach and Primary Learning Manager at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-upon-Avon, revealed a number of fascinating facts about Shakespeare's life, work and times.

For example, did you know...

-          There is a record of Shakespeare’s marriage licence, but no records can be found of where Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway – there no record of the marriage in either of their parishes;

-         Shakespeare's parents marked a cross for their name on documents, but this doesn’t necessarily mean they were illiterate! Many Tudors learnt reading and writing, or ‘pen-craft’, separately so could probably read perfectly well, if not write;

-         Shakespeare was a savvy businessman as well as a playwright – he negotiated deals as a landowner in Stratford-upon-Avon that earned him the equivalent of over £40,000 in modern currency alone, and that is separate to money he made by having a stake in theatre takings;

-         He bought the second largest property in Stratford for the sum of £120 – the average school teacher in Tudor times earned £25 a year

-         He probably left school at around age 14, as he seemed to have had a good grasp of Latin, but not so much of Greek, which is known to have been taught to older boys.

      There are still two more talks in the series to follow. On Wednesday, May 18, theatre director Amy Bonsall will discuss ‘Shakespeare in Malawi, Romeo and Juliet in Chichewa' and on Thursday, May 26, Royal Literary Fund Fellow, Basir Sultan Kazmi MBE,  will present ‘My friendship with Shakespeare.’ to complete the series

For more information about these talks, or to book your place visit the More Matter for a May Morning Eventbrite page.

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