chapter  10
20 Pages

Shakespeare-land

ByGraham Holderness

The title Shakespeare-land derives from a pictorial guide-book to Stratford-upon Avon, published around 1912, in a series called Beautiful England. The familiar iconic images of Stratford – ‘the Birthplace’, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, Holy Trinity Church – are presented here not as photographic illustrations, but in the form of pictorial watercolours by E.W. Haslehurst. Bright colours and lush textures invoke traditions of English landscape painting, Constable and Turner, while the figures in the plates wear the rustic costumes of an earlier age. A view of Stratford High Street shows a motor-car and a rural wagon, both stationary, the street’s only traffic being a flock of sheep, driven by a be-smocked shepherd. Photographs of the same period show people in contemporary urban dress, cars, horse-drawn carriages; but shepherd and sheep are noticeably absent.1