No Tea with Will (or the Pilgrims!)

Tea cups AbbyIt is hard for us modern-day Americans to imagine England without tea. What?! England without tea?! In Will Shakespeare’s day, that was (gasp!) indeed the case.

Have you heard the expression, “for all the tea in China”? It is from China that the drink made from boiled water and special leaves spread to Japan, Southeast Asia, Indonesia, and India. The adventurous Portuguese led the way for Europe. (more…)

April 23 ~ A Significant Date for Some Famous People

April 23

The year 1616 was significant not only to Pocahontas, Squanto, and Captain John Smith, but also to men who would become two of the world’s most famous writers ~ William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes.

They are both said to have died on April 23rd of that year, Shakespeare at a mere 52 and Cervantes at 68. Because of their works and their influence, English would become known as the language of Shakespeare, and Spanish would be called (more…)

Digging for 400-Year-Old Details

Claes Visscher's 1616 panorama of London featuring London bridge

Claes Visscher’s 1616 panorama of London featuring London bridge. Whitehall is 2 miles west (left) of the bridge, around the curve to the south, in Westminster. Note the spire & bell of St. Paul’s is missing. Lightning struck and it melted!

Ever try to get a mouse through Whitehall Palace in 1616? To do it with any reasonably accurate, descriptive detail is a daunting challenge, even with the wondrous resources of today’s internet.

First of all, it’s Whitehall Palace in 1616 ~ not what was created to become Whitehall in the 1530s by Henry VIII, and not quite what eventually resulted as the mind-boggling complex of Charles II in 1680 (there’s actually a diagram available for that one). (more…)

2016 ~ A Global Celebration of Shakespeare

shakespeare_400On December 28, 2015, the website of the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Indiana (USA!) announced “A global celebration of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death and legacy.” Merely type “400th” into any search engine and you will quickly see the truth of that statement. This (1616) is indeed the year for Shakespeare! I can’t help but wonder what he would think about all this! (more…)