William Shakespeare, fondly known as the Bard, remains one of the world’s most iconic literary figures. But there are many less-known facts about his life that cast an intriguing light on the man behind the plays.
1. The Unfortunate Demise of Shakespeare’s Final Residence: The last place Shakespeare called home in Stratford-upon-Avon succumbed to an unfortunate fate in 1759. Reverend Francis Gastrell, the then-owner of the house, grew weary of the constant flood of tourists. In a moment of frustration, he demolished this historical edifice, forever erasing a tangible link to Shakespeare’s later years.
2. An Extraterrestrial Tribute to the Bard: Beyond the confines of our Earth, Shakespeare’s influence extends into the celestial realm. Each one of Uranus’s 27 moons carries a name from characters penned by William Shakespeare or fellow poet, Alexander Pope. A testament to the enduring impact of their literary works.
3. The Unseen Businessman: Not just a man of words, Shakespeare proved a savvy businessman. During periods of famine, he hoarded grain to resell at inflated prices, amassing a wealth used for money-lending activities. However, this enterprise drew the attention of authorities, leading to his pursuit for tax evasion and prosecution for hoarding grain.
4. The Grave Robber’s Curse: To deter any potential grave robbers, Shakespeare left a haunting warning on his tombstone. The curse remains a successful deterrent to date, with his final resting place remaining undisturbed.
5. The Enigma of His Name: Despite his fame, the exact spelling of Shakespeare’s name remains a mystery, even to the Bard himself. His contemporaries came up with over 80 different versions, including “Shappere” and “Shaxberd.” Surprisingly, the now universally accepted “William Shakespeare” was never once used by the man himself.