A hand-drawn map of Stratford-upon-Avon. Copies are available at size A2 in two formats: flat, signed and suitable for framing OR folded in a colour cover. Please choose from the drop down box below. Flat maps come to you carefully wrapped and rolled in a sturdy postal tube.
Many of Will’s plays are set all over the British Isles, and some of the action takes place in France. Many history plays take place all over our sceptred isles! So being faithful to regional geography was going to be impossible. I have had to play ‘fast and loose’ with locations. Aficionados will have fun arguing about many of the settings. Putting ‘As You Like It’ in the British Midlands, for example. Some have argued that the Arden Forest, where it is set, is actually the Ardennes in Belgium. But why ever would Shakespeare do this? In the 16th century the ancient Forest of Arden stretched virtually to Will’s doorstep at the top of Henley Street in Stratford-upon-Avon. The Arden Forest would have been the young Will’s playground.
What is Richard II doing in East Anglia? Putting him there is an acknowledgement of the king’s brutal quelling of the Peasant’s Revolt in 1381. Peasant leader Wat Tyler came from Essex.
Thankfully some of the plays are straightforward, for example Cymbeline in Wales, Macbeth in Scotland and the Merry Wives in Windsor. Richard II stretches from York down to Leicester, and King John is over is Worcestershire because he is buried in Worcester Cathedral.
Each play is shown with its title, a quotation from the play and a small illustration. I hope it’s As you Like It.
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This painting celebrates the incredible work of my hero, the scandalously unsung Alfred Russel Wallace. Wallace came up with the theory of natural selection independently of Darwin and established the study of biogeography.
This painting is no longer available, and is shown here for your viewing pleasure and for the glory of Wallace.
Read more about Wallace here.