Shakespeare Connected - Shakespeare and Literary Pilgrimage
1. Small Bottle of Mulberry Juice
This bottle is probably the earliest material evidence we have of the eighteenth-century cult of Shakespeare’s mulberry tree. The handwritten label found with the bottle states ‘This juice was made of some mulberries gathered from the tree planted by the renowned poet Shakespeare by my mother who gave it to me on the 29th June 1774. Philip Wren.’ The mulberry supposedly planted by Shakespeare at New Place was felt to make an organic, living connection between Shakespeare, his native soil, and moderns; for this reason when the young David Garrick first visited Stratford in 1742 in homage to the playwright, he made a point of sitting beneath it. The tree was cut down in 1756; this bottle dates the practice of collecting relics from it to before the tree was felled.
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