Unlock detailed show notes & bonus episodes by becoming a patron. This website contains affiliate links.

There is something uniquely fascinating about the place where someone famous was born and grew up. As many of us travel long distances just for the chance to visit the birthplace of one of our heroes, we seem to recognize the importance of home as the foundation for future greatness. William Shakespeare’s home is no exception. WilliamShakespeare’s life journey began at his birthplace, making it an essential part of his history and the foundation of what he would go on to become. Here today to share with us the history of Shakespeare’s birthplace, how it was built, and what we know about how the property was used before, and after, Shakespeare’s residence there, is our guest, and author of the first book in the world specifically examining the history ofShakespeare’s Birthplace, Richard Schoch.

Please subscribe on your favorite listening platform and leave us a rating & review to help others discover our show.

Itunes | Stitcher | TuneIn | GooglePlay

Like our episodes? Join our mailing list

I’ll send you a notification when a new episode is available!

Richard Schoch is Professor of Drama at Queen’s University Belfast , a Visiting Fellow at TheShakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon, and the author of ‘Shakespeare’s House’,published in 2023 by Arden Shakespeare, he has written ‘A Short History of Shakespeare inPerformance’, ‘Not Shakespeare: Bardolatry and Burlesque in the Nineteenth Century’, and’Shakespeare’s Victorian Stage’, all published by Cambridge University Press. He recently led thepractice-based research project ‘Performing Restoration Shakespeare’ in partnership withShakespeare’s Globe in London and The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC.

I’ll be asking Richard Schoch about:

  • Who built Shakespeare’s birthplace originally, and is the size, construction, and architecture of the home typical of the period?
  • When did John and Mary Shakespeare first come to own the property?
  • Was the original building used as both a home and a business for John?
  • …and more!

Books and Resources Richard Schoch recommends:

Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

Lena Cowen Orlin, The Private Life of William Shakespeare (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021) 

Julia Thomas, Shakespeare’s Shrine: The Bard’s Birthplace and the Invention of Stratford-upon-Avon (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012) 

Nicola Watson, The Author’s Effects: On Writer’s House Museums (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020)

Here’s what’s available for this episode:

  • quotes from Shakespeare’s plays about home
  • Related episodes about Tudor construction
  • Virtual Tour of Stratford Upon Avon
  • Links to a diagram of the house showing where John Shakespeare’s business room is located
  • Link to episode about Inigo Jones
  • 20th century illustration of Shakespeare’s birthroom
  • 19th century engraving of Shakespeare’s birthplace before renovations
Sign up now for just $5/mo (or login here) and all the bonus content will immediately expand right on this page. (You will also get access to all our other patrons-only content, too!)

From the Back Catalog:

Comment and Share

That Shakespeare Life is always excited to connect with fellow Shakespeareans who love learning something new about the bard.

Leave a Message for our Guest

If you enjoyed our episode today, please leave us a comment right here on the page. Guests are notified of comments, and I read each and every one of them!

You can subscribe to our show on your favorite listening platform, and please consider leaving us a rating and a review to help our show perform its’ best on the podcast rankings.

Get Insider Extras and Special Perks

If you are a loyal podcast listener who joins us here each week for great history. consider supporting our show by becoming a patron. Patrons get insider access to the making of our show, including the opportunity to see upcoming guests and submit your questions to be asked during an interview. Find out more and join today.

That’s it for this week! Thank you for listening! I’m Cassidy Cash and I hope you learn something new about the bard.

I’ll see you next time!