Anne Hathaway Cottage
ANNE HATHAWAY COTTAGE
‘Item I gyve unto my wife my second best bed…’
(from Shakespeare’s will)
“The bed we loved in was a spinning world
of forests, castles, torchlight, cliff-tops,
seas where he would dive for pearls…”
ANNE HATHAWAY by Carol Ann Duffy
After a shooting a wedding in Warwick I decided to visit Anne Hathaway’s Cottage before I headed home.
I have been to Warwick & Stratford Upon Avon & a few times but had yet to visit this cottage. It was the perfect place to finish of a roll of film (and proceed to shoot another one!)
This stunning Cottage, or really, large Farmhouse, set in beautiful unspoilt gardens, was the scene of William Shakespeare’s courtship of his further bride Anne Hathaway. William & Anne married in 1582 when William was a mere 18 years old and Anne some 8 years older.
According to Shakespeare’s will the only bequest he made to his wife was his “second-best bed with the furniture”. This bequest has often been interpreted as a slight to Anne, however, in Elizabethan custom the best bed was reserved for guests and so the “second best bed” would have been the marital bed and more of a romantic gesture rather than an insult.
I like to think of this more romantic bequest as a true Shakespearean true story and I love Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy’s poem “Anne Hathaway” (quoted above) which explores this idea.
MAMIYA 645 AFD | FUJI 400H