Stratford-on-Avon, where Shakespeare was born, is now
one of the most popular tourist centre's. But it was not so
many years ago. In the 18th century only a few relics of
Shakespeare were left — his tomb, New Place (a large house
which was built in place of Shakespeare's own house), the
mulberry tree that he had planted, and his birthplace.
People from London and other places came to see these
relics. Most of them came to New Place where they wanted to
see the famous mulberry tree in the garden.
The owner of New Place- wasn't much interested in
Shakespeare. He didn't like the fact that so many visitors
came to his house asking to see the mulberry tree. So in 1756
he cut down the tree and his life became quiet.
But it didn't last long. The people who came to Stratfordon-
Avon to see Shakespeare's tree at first were surprised,
then they got so angry that the owner of New Place had to
After Stratford lost one of the most famous relics of
Shakespeare, the city fathers decided to do something to
attract people there. They asked the greatest actor of the time
David Garrick to organize a festival in Stratford.
Garrick planned to do it in the first week of September,
1769. He wanted the festival to be the greatest outdoor festival
staged in England.
At six o'clock in the morning of Wednesday September 6
the festival was opened. Many people came to Stratford. The
first day was successful, and Garrick was happy. On the
second day it rained hard. The second-day evening ended as
it began — in the rain.
On the third day all the people left Stratford, Garrick
returned to London very sad. But his festival was the
beginning of a tradition. Stratford is now famous for its
Shakespeare festivals. Every year a lot of people come to
Stratford for the Festival season which lasts from April to
1. What relics of Shakespeare were left in the 18th century?
2. Why did people come to Stratford-on-Avon?
3. What did the owner of New Place do in 1756?
4. Why did the people get angry with the owner of New
5. Why did the city fathers decide to do something to
6. Who organized the festival in Stratford?
7. Why did Garrick return to London very sad?
relic — предмет старины
tomb — могила, могильный камень
mulberry tree — шелковица
city fathers — отцы города