We owe all of these phrases and many more to William Shakespeare, the greatest English writer and playwright of all time. He was born and died in Stratford-upon-Avon, a village north of London. His career as a player (actor) and playwright really bloomed in London, so I’ve always associated Stratford with his family life.
He married Anne Hathaway when he was 18 – she was 26 and “three months gone” with his first daughter Susanna. The twins Hamlet and Judith followed a few years later. If you visit Stratford, you can see the home where Shakespeare was born, spent his early life and began his married life. He is buried in Stratford among his family.
Stratford itself is a fun little village. The Avon River runs through, next to the Royal Shakespeare Company. There was a Food Festival in town the day I was there, so there was great live music and vendors along the village center.
I had a great capsule moment there: I’d picked up a roast-beef-bacon-veg-bolognese-bap from a vendor and ate it sitting on the low wall in front of Shakespeare’s house. I was surrounded by English lavender while listening to actors perform scenes from Much Ado About Nothing in the house compound, inadvertently accompanied by street performers playing classical music. If that doesn’t sum up Stratford-upon-Avon, nothing really will.