BY ME WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE A LIFE IN WRITING is a unique and first time collaboration between The National Archives and King’s College London

Record specialists at The National Archives and academics from the London Shakespeare Centre at King’s College London – the world’s foremost centre for the study of Shakespeare – have carefully selected six of the nation’s most important documents held by The National Archives relating to Shakespeare’s life. 

Presented together for the first time, these are some of the most significant documents in the world that track Shakespeare’s existence as a citizen of London, as a businessman, as a family man, servant to the King and even possibly a thief and a subversive. They explore both his domestic and professional lives, what it meant to live in the Elizabethan and Jacobean eras and the social impact of his plays. The exhibition will take place at the Inigo Rooms of Somerset House – it was at the original Somerset House where early performances of Shakespeare’s plays took place and the will was first held.

Visitors will encounter Shakespeare in his own words and in his own handwriting. They will be taken on a journey from the birth of The Globe through to Shakespeare’s dying days in Stratford-upon-Avon.