Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Shakespeare’s final resting place is at Holy Trinity Church on the banks of the Avon. You can’t help whispering as you enter and pay the couple of pounds to the small reception (card table with a plastic box) cannily erected half way up the naïve. There’s not very much to see – a nice church (which must be atmospheric at Christmas in the way that only churches like this can be), the memorial, of course, and then the tomb, which, because the bard was a lay preacher he was entitled to have added to the altar area. Most of his immediate family tree can be found here too, carefully labelled.
I chatted with the school masterly guide sat to the left, showing him an entry about the place from the Penguin miscellany which was my main reading material for the week (on account of the very short entries ready to fill in all kinds of still moments), which he gave 8/10 for factual correctness, then left just as a visiting school group, camera phones cocked, swamped the area. In the graveyard I sat writing out a postcard. It (I) said, “It’s quite unsettling to visit where a person was born, see some of their life’s work that evening, then the place they were buried the following afternoon.” I can't imagine there are many world figures with whom this is possible.