Classic reference books about the town
Hundreds of books have been published about Shakespeare's life in Stratford, and all the locations associated with him.
The seminal works below dealt with the town and its history without excessive focus on the poet.
The Borough of Stratford-upon-Avon
Oxford University Press, 1946, 72pp
Magisterial account of the town and its history, with many references. Particularly strong on buildings and monuments. Reprinted from the Victoria County History of Warwickshire (VCH, 1945), pp.221-282. Available at British History Online.
J. Harvey Bloom
T. Fisher Unwin, 1902, 292pp
Extensive history of the fabric of Holy Trinity Church and the Guild Chapel, including the monuments, with many insights into their significance. Available online.
Outlines of the Life of Shakespeare
James Orchard Halliwell-Phillipps
Longmans, Green & Co, 1887, 292pp (Seventh edition, two volumes, 416+432pp)
Monumental scholarly study of Shakespeare's life and his links with Stratford, based on collection of all documents and evidence available at the time. Available online.
Sir Sidney L. Lee
Seeley & Co., 1885, 77pp
History of the town from the earliest times to the death of William Shakespeare. Illustrated with forty-five superb woodcuts by Edward Hull. Available online.
Shakespere's Home at New Place, Stratford-on-Avon
J. C. M. Bellew
Virtue Brothers & Co., 1863, 380pp
Wide-ranging account of the development of the house at New Place, with extensive discussion of the Clopton family. Available online.
William Shakspere: A biography
Knight Publishing, 1843, 544pp
Comprehensive biography of Shakespeare, bringing together all the facts of his life known at the time together with a certain amount of speculation, profusely illustrated with engravings. Available online.
History & Antiquities of Stratford-upon-Avon
Robert Bell Wheler
J. Ward, 1806, 230pp
First complete history of the town by an observant local historian at the beginning of the 19th century. Indispensable for any serious study of the town. Available online.
The Antiquities of Warwickshire
Sir William Dugdale
Thomas Warren, 1656, 826pp
The antiquities of Warwickshire illustrated : from records, leiger-books, manuscripts, charters, evidences, tombes, and armes : beautified with maps, prospects, and portraictures. By the renowned historian and herald, Section on Stratford pp.514-523 Available online. Second edition 1730 in two volumes, Stratford pp.680-697