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18th Sep, 2021

Tudor childhood is focus at Bard's boyhood school

A TUDOR childhood is the focus of a new exhibition at Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall.

A Child o’ th’ Time, curated by Suzanne Lithgo, takes a look at life in Tudor times from infancy to teenage years with a wide range of objects bringing the experience to life.

Many of the exhibits would have been familiar to Shakespeare, who 450 years ago would have been a seven-year-old boy starting his education in what was then known as the King’s New School.

A Tudor childhood was not easy and few children would have gone to school, with the majority sent out to work from a young age.

But for those who could enjoy leisure time, Tudor games were very inventive and the range on display includes ‘The Game with No Name’, ‘Troll Madame’ and ‘Nine Man’s Morris’.

Another curio is a 17th-century doll carved from wood – lent by The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. The ornate piece, carved in great detail from walnut, stands almost 23cm high.

Suzanne said: “It has been an absolute delight to curate an exhibition to mark the start of William Shakespeare’s grammar school education.

“What more appropriate setting than the atmospheric Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall where it all began and what more fitting focus than Tudor childhood to celebrate this influential moment in Shakespeare’s life.”

Similarly-themed activities running alongside the exhibition include a live lesson with Master Thomas Jenkins, traditional games to play, Tudor clothes to dress up in and the opportunity to try quill writing.

Visit www.shakespearesschoolroom.org for further details.

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