|Died||6 August 1623 66–67) (aged|
Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England
(m. 1582;died 1616)
Anne Hathaway (1556 – 6 August 1623) was the wife of William Shakespeare, the English poet, playwright and actor. They were married in 1582, when he was 18 and she was 26 years old. She outlived her husband by seven years. Very little is known about her beyond a few references in legal documents. Her personality and relationship to Shakespeare have been the subject of much speculation by many historians and creative writers.
Hathaway is believed to have grown up in Shottery, a village just to the west of Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England. She is assumed to have grown up in the farmhouse that was the Hathaway family home, which is located at Shottery and is now a major tourist attraction for the village. Her father, Richard Hathaway, was a yeoman farmer. He died in September 1581 and left his daughter the sum of ten marks or £6 13s 4d (six pounds, thirteen shillings and fourpence) to be paid "at the day of her marriage".In her father's will, her name is listed as "Agnes", leading to some scholars believing that she should be referred to as "Agnes Hathaway".
Hathaway married Shakespeare in November 1582 while already pregnant with the couple's first child, to whom she gave birth six months later. This age difference, added to Hathaway's antenuptial pregnancy, has been employed by some historians as evidence that it was a "shotgun wedding", forced on a somewhat reluctant Shakespeare by the Hathaway family. There is, however, no other evidence for this inference.
For a time it was believed that this view was supported by documents from the Episcopal Register at Worcester, which records in Latin the issuing of a wedding licence to "William Shakespeare" and one "Anne Whateley" of Temple Grafton. The following day, Fulk Sandells and John Richardson, friends of the Hathaway family from Stratford, signed a surety of £40 as a financial guarantee for the wedding of "William Shagspere and Anne Hathwey".Frank Harris, in The Man Shakespeare (1909), argued that these documents are evidence that Shakespeare was involved with two women. He had chosen to marry one, Anne Whateley, but when this became known he was immediately forced by Hathaway's family to marry their pregnant relative. Harris believed that "Shakespeare's loathing for his wife was measureless" because of his entrapment by her and that this was the spur to his decision to leave Stratford and pursue a career in the theatre.
However, according to Stanley Wells, writing in the Oxford Companion to Shakespeare, most modern scholars take the view that the name Whateley was "almost certainly the result of clerical error".
Germaine Greer argues that the age difference between Shakespeare and Hathaway is not evidence that he was forced to marry her, but that he was the one who pursued her. Women such as the orphaned Hathaway often stayed at home to care for younger siblings and married in their late twenties. As a husband Shakespeare offered few prospects; his family had fallen into financial ruin, while Hathaway, from a family in good standing both socially and financially, would have been considered a catch. Furthermore, a "handfast" or probationary marriage and pregnancy were frequent precursors to legal marriage at the time. Examining the surviving records of Stratford-upon-Avon and nearby villages in the 1580s, Greer argues that two facts stand out quite prominently: first, that a large number of brides went to the altar already pregnant; and second, that autumn, not spring, was the most common time to get married. Shakespeare was bound to marry Hathaway, who had become pregnant by him, but there is no reason to assume that this had not always been his intention. It is nearly certain that the respective families of the bride and groom had known one another.
Three children were born to Hathaway and her husband: Susanna in 1583 and the twins Hamnet and Judith in 1585. Hamnet died at 11 years old during one of the frequent outbreaks of the bubonic plague and was buried in Stratford upon Avon on 11 August 1596.
Apart from documents related to her marriage and the birth of her children, the only recorded reference to Hathaway in her lifetime is a curious bequest in the will of her father's shepherd, Thomas Whittington, who died in 1601. Whittington left 40 shillings to "the poor of Stratford", adding that the money was "in the hand of Anne Shakespeare wife unto Master William Shakespeare, and is due debt unto me, being paid to mine executor by the said William Shakespeare or his assigns according to the true meaning of this my will." This passage has been interpreted in several different ways. One view is that Whittington may have lent Anne the money, presumably because she was short of cash while her husband was away. More likely, however, it may have been "uncollected wages, or savings held in safekeeping", since the will also lists debts owed to him from her brothers in the same amount.
In 1607, Hathaway's daughter Susanna married the local doctor, John Hall, giving birth to Hathaway's and Shakespeare's granddaughter, Elizabeth. The following year Judith married Thomas Quiney, who was a vintner and tavern owner from a good family, in February 1616 when she was 31 and he was 27. Shakespeare may later have disapproved of this choice when it was discovered that Quiney had got another girl pregnant; also, Quiney had failed to obtain a special wedding licence needed during Lent, leading to Judith and Thomas being excommunicated on 12 March. Soon afterwards, on 25 March 1616, Shakespeare modified his will for Judith to inherit £300 in her own name, leaving Quiney out of the will and giving most of his property to Susanna and her husband.
It has sometimes been inferred that Shakespeare came to dislike his wife, but there is no existing documentation or correspondence to support this supposition. For most of their married life, he lived in London, writing and performing his plays, while she remained in Stratford. However, according to John Aubrey, he returned to Stratford for a period every year.When he retired from the theatre in 1613, he chose to live in Stratford with his wife, rather than in London.
In his will Shakespeare famously made only one bequest to his wife, his "second-best bed with the furniture". There is no reference to the "best" bed, which would have been included in the main bequest to Susanna. This bequest to Anne has often been interpreted as a slight, implying that Anne was in some sense only the "second best" person in his intimate life.A few explanations have been offered: first, it has been claimed that, according to law, Hathaway was entitled to receive one third of her husband's estate, regardless of his will, though this has been disputed. It has been speculated that Hathaway was to be supported by her children. Germaine Greer suggests that the bequests were the result of agreements made at the time of Susanna's marriage to Dr Hall: that she (and thus her husband) inherited the bulk of Shakespeare's estate. Shakespeare had business ventures with Dr Hall, and consequently appointed John and Susanna as executors of his will. Dr Hall and Susanna inherited and moved into New Place after Shakespeare's death. This would also explain other examples of Shakespeare's will being apparently ungenerous, as in its treatment of his younger daughter Judith.
There is indication that Hathaway may have been financially secure in her own right.The National Archives states that "beds and other pieces of household furniture were often the sole bequest to a wife" and that, customarily, the children would receive the best items and the widow the second-best. In Shakespeare's time, the beds of prosperous citizens were expensive affairs, sometimes equivalent in value to a small house. The bequest was thus not as minor as it might seem in modern times. In Elizabethan custom the best bed in the house was reserved for guests. If so, then the bed that Shakespeare bequeathed to Anne could have been their marital bed, and thus not intended to insult her.
However, the will as initially drafted did not mention Anne at all. It was only through a series of additions, made on 25 March 1616, slightly less than a month before Shakespeare died, that the bequest to his wife of his "second best bed with the furniture" was made. Author Stephen Greenblatt in Will in the World, suggests that as Shakespeare lay dying, "he tried to forget his wife and then remembered her with the second-best bed. And when he thought of the afterlife, the last thing he wanted was to be mingled with the woman he married. There are four lines carved in [Shakespeare's] gravestone in the chancel of Stratford Church: Good friend for Jesus sake forbeare, To digg the dust encloased heare: Bleste be ye man y't spares thes stones, And curst be he y't moves my bones. [Shakespeare may have] feared that his bones would be dug up and thrown in the nearby charnel house ... but he may have feared still more that one day his grave would be opened to let in the body of Anne Shakespeare."
A tradition recorded in 1693 is that Hathaway "greatly desired" to be buried with her husband.In fact she was interred in a separate grave next to him in the Church of the Holy Trinity, Stratford-upon-Avon. The inscription states, "Here lyeth the body of Anne wife of William Shakespeare who departed this life the 6th day of August 1623 being of the age of 67 years." A Latin inscription followed which translates as "Breasts, O mother, milk and life thou didst give. Woe is me—for how great a boon shall I give stones? How much rather would I pray that the good angel should move the stone so that, like Christ's body, thine image might come forth! But my prayers are unavailing. Come quickly, Christ, that my mother, though shut within this tomb may rise again and reach the stars." The inscription is believed to have been written by John Hall on behalf of his wife, Anne's daughter, Susanna.
One of Shakespeare's sonnets, number 145, has been claimed to make reference to Anne Hathaway: the words 'hate away' may be a pun (in Elizabethan pronunciation) on 'Hathaway'. It has also been suggested that the next words, "And saved my life", would have been indistinguishable in pronunciation from "Anne saved my life".The sonnet differs from all the others in the length of the lines. Its fairly simple language and syntax have led to suggestions that it was written much earlier than the other, more mature, sonnets.
Those lips that Love's own hand did make
Breathed forth the sound that said 'I hate'
To me that languish'd for her sake;
But when she saw my woeful state
Straight in her heart did mercy come,
Chiding that tongue that ever sweet
Was used in giving gentle doom,
And taught it thus anew to greet:
'I hate' she alter'd with an end,
That follow'd it as gentle day
Doth follow night, who like a fiend
From heaven to hell is flown away;
'I hate' from hate away she threw,
And saved my life, saying 'not you.'
The following poem about Anne has also been ascribed to Shakespeare, but its language and style are not typical of his verse. It is widely attributed to Charles Dibdin (1748–1814) and may have been written for the Stratford-upon-Avon Shakespeare Festival of 1769:
But were it to my fancy given
To rate her charms, I'd call them heaven;
For though a mortal made of clay,
Angels must love Anne Hathaway;
She hath a way so to control,
To rapture the imprisoned soul,
And sweetest heaven on earth display,
That to be heaven Anne hath a way;
She hath a way,
To be heaven's self Anne hath a way.
This section needs additional citations for verification . (August 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Anne is depicted in fiction during the 19th century, when Shakespeare starts to become a figure in wider national and popular culture. Emma Severn's novel Anne Hathaway, or, Shakespeare in Love (1845) portrays an idealised romance and happy marriage in an idyllic rural Stratford.She also appears in William Black's 1884 novel Judith Shakespeare about her daughter, portrayed as a conventional dutiful wife and concerned parent with a wayward daughter.
By the early 20th century a more negative image of Hathaway emerged, following the publication of Frank Harris's books on Shakespeare's love life, and after the discovery that Anne was already pregnant when the couple married. A trend in literature on Hathaway in this period was to imagine her as a sexually incontinent cradle-snatcher, or, alternatively, a calculating shrew. More recent literature has included more varied representations of her. Historian Katherine Scheil describes Hathaway as a "wife-shaped void" used by modern writers "as a canvas for expressing contemporary woman's struggles—over independence, single motherhood, sexual freedom, unfaithful husbands, woman's education and power-relations between husband and wife."
An adulterous Anne is imagined by James Joyce's character Stephen Dedalus, who makes a number of references to Hathaway.In Ulysses, he speculates that the gift of the infamous "second-best bed" was a punishment for her adultery, and earlier in the same novel, Dedalus analyses Shakespeare's marriage with a pun: "He chose badly? He was chosen, it seems to me. If others have their will Ann hath a way." Anne also appears in Hubert Osborne's The Shakespeare Play (c. 1911) and its sequel The Good Men Do (1917), which dramatises a meeting between the newly widowed Anne and her supposed old rival for William's love "Anne Whateley". Anne is depicted as shrewish in the first play, and as spiteful towards her former rival in the latter. A frosty relationship is also portrayed in Edward Bond's play Bingo: Scenes of Money and Death (1973), about Shakespeare's last days, and in the 1978 TV series Will Shakespeare .
The World's Wife, a collection of poems by Carol Ann Duffy, features a sonnet entitled "Anne Hathaway", based on the passage from Shakespeare's will regarding his "second-best bed". Duffy chooses the view that this would be their marriage bed, and so a memento of their love, not a slight. Anne remembers their lovemaking as a form of "romance and drama", unlike the "prose" written on the best bed used by guests, "I hold him in the casket of my widow's head/ as he held me upon that next best bed". In Robert Nye's novel Mrs Shakespeare: the Complete Works, which purports to be Anne's autobiographical reminiscences, Shakespeare buys the best bed with money given to him by the Earl of Southampton. When Anne comes to London, the couple use the bed for wild sexual adventures, in which they engage in role-playing fantasies based on his plays. He refers to the bed he bequeaths her as "the second best" to remind her of the best bed of their memories. The novel was dramatised for BBC radio in 1998 with Maggie Steed playing Hathaway.
The Connie Willis short story "Winter's Tale," which combines factual information about Anne Hathaway with a fictitious Shakespeare identity theory, also characterises the nature of the relationship as loving and the bequeath of the second-best bed as romantically significant.
Anne Hathaway appears in Neil Gaiman's comic book section "The Tempest", part of The Sandman series. She and Shakespeare share a tumultuous, yet affectionate, relationship. Gaiman's interpretation suggests that Anne deliberately became pregnant to force her husband to marry her, but the context implies that neither of them ultimately regret their decision.
Through her long-running solo show Mrs Shakespeare, Will's first and last love (1989) American actress-writer Yvonne Hudson has had a long relationship with both the historical and dramatic Anne Hathaway. She depicts Anne and Will as maintaining a friendship despite the challenges inherent to their long separations and tragedies. Mining early and recent scholarship and the complete works, Hudson concurs that evidence of the couple's mutual respect is indeed evident in the plays and sonnets, along with support for the writer's infatuations and possibly adulterous relationships. Hudson also chooses the positive view of the bed bequest, sharing that "it may have been only here that I possessed William." Mrs Shakespeare explores the realities of keeping house without a husband while applying some dramatic licence. This allows Anne to have at least a country wife's understanding of her educated spouse's work as she quotes sonnets and soliloquies to convey her feelings. The 2005 play Shakespeare's Will by Canadian playwright Vern Thiessen is similar in form to Hudson's show. It is a one-woman piece that focuses on Anne Hathaway on the day of her husband's funeral. Avril Rowland's Mrs Shakespeare (2005) depicts Anne as a multi-tasking "superwoman" who runs the home efficiently while also writing her husband's plays in a businesslike partnership with him as her promoter/performer.
The romantic comedy film Shakespeare in Love provides an example of the negative view, depicting the marriage as a cold and loveless bond that Shakespeare must escape to find love in London. The same situation occurs in Harry Turtledove's alternate-history novel Ruled Britannia (2002), in which Shakespeare seeks and actually wins a divorce from Hathaway to marry his new girlfriend. A similarly loveless relationship is depicted in the film A Waste of Shame (2005).
The Secret Confessions of Anne Shakespeare (2010), a novel by Arliss Ryan, also proposes Anne Hathaway as the true author of many of the Shakespeare plays (a claim originally made in 1938). In the novel, Anne follows Will to London to support his acting career. As he finds his true calling in writing, Anne's own literary skills flower, leading to a secret collaboration that makes William Shakespeare the foremost playwright in Elizabethan England.
She is portrayed by Liza Tarbuck in the BBC Two comedy series Upstart Crow , which follows the writing and preparation to stage Romeo and Juliet after William has gained some early career notoriety for his poetry, Henry VI and Richard III .
Anne Hathaway is portrayed by Judi Dench in the 2018 historical film All Is True .
Anne is portrayed by actress Cassidy Janson in the musical & Juliet . The show opened in the West End on November 20, 2019.
Anne Hathaway's childhood was spent in a house near Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire, England. Although it is often called a cottage, it is, in fact, a spacious twelve-roomed farmhouse, with several bedrooms, now set in extensive gardens. It was known as Newlands Farm in Shakespeare's day and had more than 90 acres (36 hectares) of land attached to it. As in many houses of the period, it has multiple chimneys to spread the heat evenly throughout the house during winter. The largest chimney was used for cooking. It also has visible timber framing, a trademark of vernacular Tudor style architecture.
After the death of Anne's father, the cottage was owned by Anne's brother Bartholomew, and was passed down the Hathaway family until 1846, when financial problems forced them to sell it. It is now owned and managed by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, and is open to public visitors as a museum.
William Shakespeare was an English poet, playwright, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's greatest dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon". His extant works, including collaborations, consist of some 39 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses, some of uncertain authorship. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.
John Hall was a physician and son-in-law of William Shakespeare.
The Collegiate Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity, Stratford-upon-Avon is a Grade I listed parish church of the Church of England in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England. It is often known simply as Holy Trinity Church or as Shakespeare's Church, due to its fame as the place of baptism, marriage and burial of William Shakespeare. More than 200,000 tourists visit the church each year.
William Shakespeare was an actor, playwright, poet, and theatre entrepreneur in London during the late Elizabethan and early Jacobean eras. He was baptised on 26 April 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire, England, in the Holy Trinity Church. At the age of 18 he married Anne Hathaway with whom he had three children. He died in his home town of Stratford on 23 April 1616, aged 51. Though more is known about Shakespeare's life than those of most other Elizabethan and Jacobean writers, few personal biographical facts survive, which is unsurprising in the light of his social status as a commoner, the low esteem in which his profession was held, and the general lack of interest of the time in the personal lives of writers. Information about his life derives from public instead of private documents: vital records, real estate and tax records, lawsuits, records of payments, and references to Shakespeare and his works in printed and hand-written texts. Nevertheless, hundreds of biographies have been written and more continue to be, most of which rely on inferences and the historical context of the 70 or so hard facts recorded about Shakespeare the man, a technique that sometimes leads to embellishment or unwarranted interpretation of the documented record.
The sexuality of William Shakespeare has been the subject of recurring debate. It is known from public records that he married Anne Hathaway and that they had three children; scholars have analysed their relationship through these documents, and particularly through the bequests to her in Shakespeare's will. Some have speculated Shakespeare had affairs with other women, based on contemporaries' written anecdotes of such affairs and sometimes on the "Dark Lady" figure in his sonnets. Some scholars have argued he was bisexual, based on analysis of the sonnets: many, including Sonnet 18 "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day", are love poems addressed to a man, the "Fair Youth", and contain puns relating to homosexuality.
Susanna Hall was the oldest child of William Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway, and the older sister of twins Judith Quiney and Hamnet Shakespeare. She married John Hall, a local physician, in 1607. They had one daughter, named Elizabeth, in 1608. Elizabeth married Thomas Nash, son of Anthony Nash on 22 April 1626 at Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon.
Sonnet 145 is one of Shakespeare's sonnets. It forms part of the Dark Lady sequence of sonnets and is the only one written not in iambic pentameter, but instead tetrameter. It is written as a description of the feelings of a man who is so in love with a woman that hearing her say that "she hates" something immediately creates a fear that she is referring to him. But then when she notices how much pain she has caused her lover by saying that she may potentially hate him, she changes the way that she says it to assure him that she hates but does not hate him.
Hamnet Shakespeare was the only son of William Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway, and the fraternal twin of Judith Shakespeare. He died at the age of 11. Some Shakespearean scholars speculate on the relationship between Hamnet and his father's later play Hamlet, as well as on possible connections between Hamnet's death and the writing of King John, Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, and Twelfth Night.
Shakespeare's Will is a play by Canadian writer Vern Thiessen. It was commissioned by Geoffrey Brumlik, then Artistic Director of the River City Shakespeare Festival in Edmonton as a performance vehicle for Jan Alexandra Smith and premiered at the Citadel Theatre in February 2005. It has been regularly revived and was performed at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in 2011. Shakespeare's Will was published in 2002 by Playwrights Canada Press.
Judith Quiney, née Shakespeare, was the younger daughter of William Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway and the fraternal twin of their only son Hamnet Shakespeare. She married Thomas Quiney, a vintner of Stratford-upon-Avon. The circumstances of the marriage, including Quiney's misconduct, may have prompted the rewriting of Shakespeare's will. Thomas was struck out, while Judith's inheritance was attached with provisions to safeguard it from her husband. The bulk of Shakespeare's estate was left, in an elaborate fee tail, to his elder daughter Susanna and her male heirs.
Thomas Quiney was the husband of William Shakespeare's daughter Judith Shakespeare, and a vintner and tobacconist in Stratford-upon-Avon. Quiney held several municipal offices in the corporation of Stratford-upon-Avon, the highest being chamberlain in 1621 and 1622, but was also fined for various minor offences.
Elizabeth, Lady Barnard was the granddaughter of the English poet and playwright William Shakespeare. Despite two marriages, she had no children, and was his last surviving descendant.
Joan Shakespeare was the sister of William Shakespeare. She is the only member of the family whose known descendants continue down to the present day.
Thomas Nash was the first husband of William Shakespeare's granddaughter Elizabeth Barnard. He lived most of his life in Stratford-upon-Avon, and was the dominant male figure amongst Shakespeare's senior family line after the death of Dr. John Hall, Shakespeare's son-in-law, in 1635.
A Waste of Shame is a 90-minute television drama on the circumstances surrounding William Shakespeare's composition of his sonnets. It takes its title from the first line of Sonnet 129. It was first broadcast on BBC Four on 22 November 2005 as part of the supporting programming for the BBC's ShakespeaRe-Told season, but only loosely connected to the rest of the series.
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust (SBT) is an independent registered educational charity based in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England, that came into existence in 1847 following the purchase of William Shakespeare's birthplace for preservation as a national memorial. It can also lay claim to be the oldest conservation society in Britain. Receiving no government funding or public subsidies, it is totally dependent upon the public for support, and relies on donations and the income generated from visitors.
"Anne Hathaway" is a poem by Carol Ann Duffy about Anne Hathaway, the wife of William Shakespeare.
Anne Whateley is the name given to a woman who is sometimes supposed to have been the intended wife of William Shakespeare before he married Anne Hathaway. Most scholars believe that Whateley never existed, and that her name in a document concerning Shakespeare's marriage is merely a clerical error. However, several writers on Shakespeare have taken the view that she was a real rival to Hathaway for Shakespeare's hand. She has also appeared in imaginative literature on Shakespeare and in Shakespeare authorship speculations. Shakespeare's biographer Russell A. Fraser describes her as "a ghost", "haunting the edges of Shakespeare's story". She has also been called "the first of the Shakespearean Dark Ladies".
John Ward (1629–1681) was vicar of Stratford-upon-Avon from 1662 to 1681. He is noted for his diary in which he recorded anecdotes about William Shakespeare, his family, and others.
William Shakespeare's last will and testament was signed on 25 March 1616, just under a month before his death. The document has been studied for details of his personal life, for his opinions, and for his attitudes towards his two daughters, Susanna and Judith, and their respective husbands, John Hall and Thomas Quiney. The best-known passage of the will is the bequest to the wife of his "second best bed". The significance of this phrase is not certain.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Anne Hathaway .|