National Geographic : 1964 May
he came to Holborn and the entrance to the City of London. The City proper, then as now, occupied only a square mile, but already sub urbs were spreading beyond the area original ly encompassed by the old city walls.* Where Shakespeare found lodgings, or what he did on arrival, we do not know, but he soon found employment in the theater. The London of Shakespeare's time was vastly different from the sprawling metrop olis we know today. Though even then the largest city in England, it still retained charac teristics of a country town. Around it were fields where citizens could walk, hunt, prac 646 tice archery, and experience other pleasures of the outdoors, a taste that Englishmen have always cultivated. It is more difficult to find Shakespeare's London than it is to discover his haunts in Stratford, for London has been burned and built over through the centuries until few 16th-century landmarks remain. Neverthe less, many street names suggest locations that he knew, and a few relics still stand to re mind one of an older London. The St. Paul's Cathedral that Shakespeare knew was a Gothic structure that looked more like Westminster Abbey than the present *See "The City-London's Storied Square Mile," by Allan C. Fisher, Jr., NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, June, 1961.