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Home :: Archive :: 2013 :: April ::
Bard of Avon Origin

 

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 24.0151  Thursday, 4 April 2013

 

From:        Sylvia Morris < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

Date:         March 31, 2013 8:28:14 AM EDT

Subject:     Re: Bard of Avon Origin

 

In response to C David Frankel’s question, it’s generally assumed that Shakespeare was first called “Bard of Avon” or at least “Bard”, by David Garrick at the time of the Shakespeare Jubilee in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1769. Certainly the Ode on Dedicating a Statue . . . which was the starting point of the celebrations and written by Garrick contains the lines:

 

Sweetest bard that ever sung,

Nature's glory, Fancy’s child.

 

And one of the songs in Shakespeare’s Garland, entitled “Warwickshire”, also written by Garrick, includes:

 

For the bard of all bards, was a Warwickshire bard,

Warwickshire bard,

Never pair’d,

For the bard of all bards, was a Warwickshire bard

 

The song also claims “The lad of all lads was a Warwickshire lad”, “The wit of all wits, was a Warwickshire wit”, and so on.

 

I don’t think I’ve ever seen an earlier use of the word in relation to Shakespeare, but like Mr Frankel I’d like to know if there is one!

 

Sylvia Morris

Blog: www.theshakespeareblog.com

Twitter: @sylvmorris1

 
 

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