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William Shakespeare in London

The Globe Theatre based on the original Globe that William Shakespeare used to perform inWilliam Shakespeare, the Bard of Avon, was born in 1564 and died 52 years later in 1616. Nobody knows his exact birthday so it is generally assumed to be April 23rd, St. George's Day and the same date as his death. A prolific playwright and poet, Shakespeare wrote 37 plays and composed 154 sonnets none of which was ever published by him. "The First Folio" containing 36 of his plays was published in 1623. William Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, a woman 8 years his senior, and they had 8 children. As an accomplished actor, he appeared in many of his own plays and in those of other playwrights, including a performance in front of Queen Elizabeth I. 

What could our book club do if we travel to London on a Shakespeare tour?

  • At Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, watch a play and/or take the Theatre Tour and visit the Exhibition.
  • Prior to watching a play, let a leading scholar "set the scene" with an interesting and helpful introduction to the work, attend a lecture, talk or staged reading (all subject to availability on date requested).
  • Take a 2-hour walk with a specialist guide to include the site of the original Globe, St. Paul's Cathedral, Stationers' Hall, Blackfriars Monastery, site of the King's Wardrobe and the Clink Prison plus much more.
  • Visit the Shakespeare Memorial at Southwark Cathedral. The window depicts characters from the plays and is found above a recumbent alabaster figure of Shakespeare, carved by Henry McCarthy in 1912.

Anything else of interest in the area?

  • Hop-on hop-off sightseeing tour of London.
  • The little-known Sir John Soane's Museum in Lincoln's Inn Fields is an absolute gem.
  • Shopping on Oxford Street, Bond Street, Regent Street and Knightsbridge.
  • The Museum of London offers an unforgettable journey through the capital's turbulent past from prehistoric times right up to the present day.
  • The Tower of London and the Crown Jewels.
  • A Thames cruise to Greenwich or the O2 on a fine day is an excellent way to view the city.
  • A trip up to the recently opened viewing gallery on the 69th floor of The Shard from which, on a clear day, you can see for 40 miles.

Recommended reading for your book club

Shakespeare: The Biography by Peter Ackroyd

1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare by James Shapiro

Romeo & Juliet, King Lear, Macbeth and A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare are among the most popular and critically acclaimed of Shakespeare's Plays

Recommended viewing for your book club

The Merchant of Venice (2004)
Starring Al Pacino as Shylock, Jeremy Irons as Antonio and Joseph Fiennes as Bassiano.

Romeo & Juliet (1996)
Starring Leonardo Di Caprio as Romeo, Claire Danes as Juliet and Miriam Margolyes as the Nurse.

Shakespeare in Love (1998)
Starring Gwyneth Paltrow as Viola de Lesseps, Joseph Fiennes as William Shakespeare and Judi Dench as Queen Elizabeth.

Book Club Tours look forward to welcoming you to London for your William Shakespeare tour.

Book Club Tours LLP, 33 Broad Lane, Hampton, Middlesex TW12 3AL • Tel: 020 8979 2285