The Man Who Made Shakespeare & Stratford Famous



The fool thinks himself to be wise. The wiseman knows himself to be a fool--Shakespeare-- As You Like It
 

click to see color image

David Garrick (1717-1779) as Richard III
Reproduced from the painting by William Hogarth at the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool

David Garrick, Actor, Entrepreneur, fertilized the imaginations of the Stratfordians with his elaborately "staged" but fabricated legend of William Shakespeare. In Stratford, Shakespere the man was not celebrated as the famous playwright while he was alive and for over a hundred years after his death; (1616) until David Garrick came to town. Astonished that Stratford had not fully acknowledged him Garrick started a tradition in 1769 by having a grand jubilee.

Garrick was buried in Westminster Abbey. There is a statue of him and underneath it is written the following lines:

To paint fair nature by divine command,
Her magic pencil in her glowing hand,
A Shakespear rose: then, to expand his fame,
Wide o'er this breathing world, a Garrick came.
Though sunk in death the forms the Poet drew,
The actor's genius bade them breath anew;
Though, like the bard himself, in night they lay,
Immortal Garrick call'd them back to day;
And till Eternity with pow'r sublime
Shall mark the moral hour of hoary Time,
Shakespear and Garrick like twin-stars shall shine,
And earth irradiate with a beam divine.

For more information read The Cult of Shakespeare by F.E. Halliday. 1957.


see The Stratford on Avon Birthplace by Roderick Eagle

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