Richard Agemo grew up in the rural Midwest. A Shakespeare addict, he’s blogged about the Bard for six years. His first exposure to Shakespeare came in high school studying Hamlet, but he really got hooked after college. He studied in France where he developed the habit of reading plays before seeing them staged. Once back in the States, he began doing the same with Shakespeare’s plays, which raised his appreciation for these sublime works and their author. He lives in Washington, D.C.

On the banks of the River Thames, Hampton Court Palace at times was called Avon, a short version of Avondunum, an ancient word meaning “fort by the river.” Plays by Shakespeare — the “Sweet Swan of Avon” — were staged at the palace during the reigns of Queen Elizabeth I and James I. Photo by Brian Brantner.