23rd April 1564
i
Illustration by Igor Kubik
Experiences

23rd April 1564

Anniversary of the Month
Adam Węgłowski
Reading
time 5 minutes

William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in England. Or, at least, we assume so. His father was John Shakespeare, a farmers’ son who did a lot of odd jobs (including working as a beer tester!) before he advanced socially, thanks to his successful glove-selling business and active participation in local politics. William’s mother, Mary, came from the prominent Arden family.

Doesn’t sound too shabby, does it? And yet Mark Twain mocked the Bard, saying that his parents could not read, write, or even sign their names. This might have also been the case with William’s numerous siblings. Strangely, however, it is said that he was sent for schooling to Oxford-educated teachers who equipped him with a broad education. Why was William the one to be granted such privilege? Nobody knows. Also, one cannot help but wonder if gifted teachers were the only key to the all-round knowledge the Bard was so eager to flaunt in his works. How come this provincial son of a nouveau riche

Information

You’ve reached your free article’s limit this month. You can get unlimited access to all our articles and audio content with our digital subscription. If you have an active subscription, please log in.

Subscribe

Also read:

29th March 1857
i
Illustration by Igor Kubik
Science

29th March 1857

Anniversary of the Month
Adam Węgłowski

In India, the British mindlessly provoke a rebellion uniting the Muslims and Hindus against them. And all because of… fat.

Mangal Pandey was a sepoy – an Indian soldier in the 34th Bengal Native Infantry regiment of the British East India Company. A soldier, like any other. There had been unrest in his company at Barrackpore for several weeks. The British had just introduced the Enfield rifle into service, which had aroused protests from the sepoys. The powder and shot for this weapon came in paper cartridges that had to be bitten before use. The problem was that in order to protect the powder from damp, the paper was soaked in pork or beef fat. For the sepoys, this was a violation of a religious taboo. Those who followed Islam didn’t want to touch pork fat. In turn, those who were Hindu could not countenance using fat from sacred cows.

Continue reading