Shakespeare and Stratford-Upon-Avon: 'A Chronicle of the Time'

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A detailed account by the secretary to the festival committee of the extensive Tercentenary celebrations of Shakespeare's birth held in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1864. The jubilee, inspired by Garrick's of 1769, included performances of several of the plays in a specially built pavilion on the Paddock in Southern Lane. There was also a banquet, a ball, fireworks, church services, a pageant and several concerts. Planning was fraught with difficulties and disagreements such as the committee's refusal to provide the pageant (organised in the end by the townsfolk) and walked a financial tightrope. The event nevertheless was a success and paved the way for the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, opened in 1879. A short biography of the playwright, with an assessment of previous biographies, a topographical narrative of the town and description of the three previous jubilees held there (especially Garrick's) provide context and the perspective of the time.