Sometime around 1586, William Shakespeare left his home town of Stratford-upon-Avon and headed for London. Which route did he take? Did he travel alone or in the company of others? All of these are unknown. What is certain is that he travelled on foot: unless you were a person of means, and could ride a horse, you walked. He left behind his wife and young family, heading towards an uncertain future, the outcome of which is universally acclaimed as the greatest body of work in the English language. Our own journey differed considerably from that of Shakespeare. We set out on a warm summer’s morning in July 2016, the 400th anniversary year of his death, from The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in a Stratford-upon-Avon already heaving with tourists. Our intention was to ‘follow in his footsteps’, collaborating in a creative response in words and images, reflecting on how a journey of 146 miles might have helped to shape his work and character. Along the way, we sought to capture the essence of the sights, sounds and people we met, mindful that Shakespeare might have had similar experiences. All those elemental encounters surely made their way into his plays and poetry.
David Hatfull is a freelance professional photographer whose awards include both Kodak and Canon Photographer of the Year. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society. David’s photographs have been widely exhibited, including in 20 British Photographers, a touring exhibition of the UK, USA and New Zealand. His most recent shows are entitled Norfolk Landscapes and Service Providers. David is represented by The Bircham Gallery.
Ronan Hatfull completed his doctorate in English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick in 2019. He also studied at the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon, where he received an MA with Distinction in Shakespeare and Creativity. Ronan is currently an Associate Tutor at the University of Warwick and is working on a book about the history of the Reduced Shakespeare Company. He is also a playwright and co-founded the theatre company, Partners Rapt, who have performed at the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Dell Festival.
Paul Edmondson is Head of Research and Knowledge at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and has written many books and articles about Shakespeare. He is also the Director of the Stratford-upon-Avon Poetry Fest and completed his own 146-mile walk in 2016, reading a Shakespeare sonnet each mile, and writing some of his own.
Find out more or contact us at:
This project supports The Lizz Ketterer Trust lizzketterertrust.com
Sir Stanley Wells Pennywangle,The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Setting Forth Setting Forth The Glover's Son The Glover's son Brailes Hill Overlooking Cherington St Philip's Church,Little Rollright Cherington Church Churchyard of St John the Baptist,Cherington Cornfield path near Chipping Norton Woodland, Long Compton At The Rollright Stones At the Rollright Stones The King Stone Lights of Knight The rollright Fairies Fairies in the Round A Horse,A Horse ? A Horse. A Horse? River Glyme,Lidstone Stonefield steps,Blenheim Estate The Lonely Dragon,Blenheim Park The Lonely Dragon Glyme Farm, Warwickshire Park Farm, Blenheim The Painted Room, Oxford Quilt of Figures Sunbathing near Oxford Oxford Canal Godstow Abbey,Wolvercote Turners Green Lane,Old Drover's Road Fair Flowers St Lawrence Churchyard,Toot Baldon Back garden, Stadhampton Church of St Mary the Virgin,Chalgrove At St Mary the Virgin, Chalgrove Sunken Path Sunken Path Impressions Impressions Soli in the Woodlands Soli in the Woodlands Witch Tree Witch Tree Stonor Tree Stonor Park Them Hills Them Hills Christ Church Churchyard,Crookham On the last Day Homefield Wood,Hambleden Alas, Poor Dolly Lord Chamblelain's Men Sonnets on the Way Sonnets on the Way Stoke Common Bottled by Photography Sunbather,Grand Union Canal Beech wood, Burnham Beeches Beech stumps Along the Thames Path Graffitied noticeboard Canal lock, Grand Union Canal Along the Grand Union Canal Along the Grand Union Canal High and dry Thames boatyard Westminister wedding In the shadow of Larry Charlie Chaplin on the South Bank Millennium Bridge, London Shakespeare's Globe,London This Wooden O Dr Paul Edmondson, The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Devon Glover,aka The Sonnet Man,rapper Rev.James Kennedy,Anglican Priest Colin and judith, villasge shopkeepers Tony and Chloe, Innkeepers Robert Hobill,estate manager,Ditchley Park Nigel,guide,Blenheim Estate Graham Piggot,Sculptor Brian,Canoneer Wild Swimmers Sarah Markham,lockeeper Ferryman,River Thames Andy,Environmentalist Dr.Emma Smith,academic Megan,waitress Colin,Car mechanic George,Sheep farmer Debbie Dance, preservationist Tim ,publican Pattie,lepidopterist Brian,detectorist Hilary,violin maker Amy,landscape painter Mikron,Narrowboat travelling theatre company Senem and Nina, towpath repairers John,model boatbuilder Bill and Marie Baptist ministers Robin Steinway,canal boatman Joe and Rachel,travelling campervanners Michael ,litter picker Gary and Beth, tourists Tony and John,window cleaners Captain Pugwash,filmmaker and boatman Jenny,singer-songwriter Joanne and Tei Xue, newlyweds Tom and Tamara,actors