'Perfectly Imperfect: The Shakespeare Story'
Few authors today write with such universal understanding that their works will be popular with all types of people, and so successfully that their work survives centuries. These authors posses qualities we can seldom identify in their lifetimes. Yet we do know this -- William Shakespeare was one of them.
William Shakespeare's parents were John Shakespeare and Mary Arden. John Shakespeare was born in 1529. His father was a small tenant farmer in Snitterfield, near Stratford-upon-Avon. He became a successful glover and trader, and owned civic office in Stratford. He was not born to the nobility, but he did have some authority in the town. In 1596 he was given by the College of Arms the right to a coat of arms and a crest. Doing that advanced his status to that of a country gentleman. He would belong to the upper class of rural society.
That was the class just under the knights and the nobility to which the country gentleman could be promoted if he made money in trade or the law and had influence at court. His rise in authority began the year after he was married. He became constable of Stratford, in charge of keeping the town safe. From 1561 to 1565, he was Chamberlain, responsible for the oversight and maintenance of Corporation of Stratford property. In 1564, his name appeared on the list of Capital Burgesses. He was likely a member for a number of years, just without his name on the list. Capital Burgesses were the main English parliament representatives for towns or boroughs. Later on, he was bailiff of the town, and held many important positions throughout his life. William Shakespeare's mother, Mary Arden, was born to nobility, a wealthy family. She was the youngest daughter of...