The Bible

Shakespeare heard readings from the Bishops Bible (1568) every Sunday when he attended Holy Trinity Church in his home town of Stratford-upon-Avon.

Many families kept editions like this 'Geneva version' (1576) at home.

The Geneva Bible

The Bible was crucial to Shakespeare's culture. The Church in the past is often shown as severe or even brutal. But faith and the Church were simply central to the lives of Elizabethans.

Faith was guided by the Bible. It could help to explain life, death and events taking place in the world.

At the very least, the church was a focus for local communities. Church courts also dealt with social issues - sometimes severely, but often with sympathy.

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