To which Batgrl must add: To this day people are still wondering WTH he meant in his will when he gave the following to his wife, Anne Hathaway:

"Item, I give unto my wife my second best bed with the furniture."

No one can tell for sure if this was an insult, since that's her only mention in the will - but it was definitely a sentence that had some meaning between the two of them. Or so you'd hope? Of all the trivia about Shakespeare's actual life this is one of the most interesting - because there's no answer. (One theory has it that she was due a certain portion by law, so that this wasn't all she'd get. But then you must ask, why bother to mention the bed?)


Also unknown - the fate of the best bed. Some assume that it went to the children. (Link to the National Archives, who has the will.)




Anne Hathaway - part of the PBS series In Search of Shakespeare

--Gives multiple options about possible meanings.


Shakespeare's Last Will and Testament - Shakespeare Online

[Mabillard, Amanda. Shakespeare's Last Will and Testament Shakespeare Online. 20 Aug. 2008. < >.]

--Full text of the will, plus four paragraphs quoted at the end discuss what a few authors (Charles Knight, Boswell, etc.) have theorized.