American flag Roger Pringle

The Americans in Stratford

Dr Roger Pringle

Monday 20 March - White Swan - following AGM at 6pm

From the start of the 19th Century, and especially after the purchase of the Birthplace as a national memorial in 1847, American tourists came in their thousands to worship at the shrine of Shakespeare. They left their mark, not only on the wealth of the town but also in the endowment of many monuments. The talk will look at how Americans have viewed Stratford over the past two hundred years, and how many significant buildings in the town have benefitted from American philanthropy.

Roger studied history at St. Catharine's College, Cambridge, and then undertook a degree in education at the University of Reading. In 1967 he joined the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, and rose to become Director, a post held until his retirement in 2007.  He has been an active supporter of organisations connected with Shakespeare, the arts, education, and heritage matters. In 1972 he assumed responsibility for organising the annual Stratford-upon-Avon Poetry Festival, and in 1980 founded the Celandine Press, publishing limited editions of new work by contemporary writers, especially poets. He was Chairman of the Stratford Society for two years 1979-81 and again in 1999-2000.