In-demand Shakespeare tour guide and popular Shakespeare Magazine contributor Zoe Bramley tells us about her new book, suitably-titled “The Shakespeare Trail”

The Shakespeare Trail began life as a guided walk through the City of London. Each Saturday afternoon I would lead a small group of curious Bard lovers through the winding alleyways of the ancient Square Mile as we went in search of Shakespeare’s London.

The Guildhall, London, where Shakespeare’s kinsman Edward Arden was placed on trial

The Guildhall, London, where Shakespeare’s kinsman Edward Arden was placed on trial

“I had numerous emails from people who were unable to attend for reasons of geography so I decided to write the walk down. I emailed my idea to Amberley Publishing, not expecting much joy – after all, we all know how impossible it is to get published, right? Wrong!

The site of “The Theatre” in London’s Shoreditch (the graffiti is misleading, as it wasn’t called The Globe)

The site of “The Theatre” in London’s Shoreditch (the graffiti is misleading, as it wasn’t called The Globe)

“Three weeks later I received a cautiously interested email from one of the editors. They wanted me to expand the book; maybe to include the whole of Shakespeare’s England. After some toing and froing by email, I had a contract.

Hamlet statue at the Gower Memorial, Stratford-upon-Avon

Hamlet statue at the Gower Memorial, Stratford-upon-Avon

“Then the really hard work started. The next eight months were spent dashing around the country on research trips to stately homes, castles, churches, and theatres. I seemed to be spending an awful lot of time in various libraries, devouring obscure local history books and learning about Shakespeare’s connections with places I had never dreamed of.

The College of Arms, London – Shakespeare would have applied for his coat of arms at an earlier version of this building

The College of Arms, London – Shakespeare would have applied for his coat of arms at an earlier version of this building

“From Dover to Northumberland, it was a journey of real discovery and surprises, giving me a deeper understanding of our favourite playwright. I hope you will enjoy following the Shakespeare Trail as much as I did. And for any budding authors and historians out there, don’t be afraid to submit your idea to Amberley. They are very approachable and always open to ideas. Go for it!”

FCP Shakespeare Trail
The Shakespeare Trail: A Journey into Shakespeare’s England
is out now.
Go here to order The Shakespeare Trail from Amazon UK.

Go here to find out more about Amberley Publishing.