Millions of international visitors flock to Stratford-upon-
Avon in search of Shakespeare, but it was
out of the great medieval forest to the north that
covered much of Warwickshire that the world’s
greatest playwright’s family originated, and which
provided the inspiration for many of his plays.
The volume looks at the heart of Shakespeare’s
Warwickshire – today, the classic towns and villages
with their half-timbered cottages built from Arden
oaks, its myths, romance and legend, its rivers and
waterways, the green enclaves that survive on the
edge of urban Birmingham and Solihull, and the
places where the Shakespeare family lived for 300
It visits historical sites including moated
manors, great houses and castles, the green oases
that remain centuries after the forest was cleared,
the tourist magnet of Stratford-upon-Avon and
considers the artists that came out of the area after
Shakespeare, including Hobbit creator JRR Tolkien.
Through more than 200 colour illustrations
and a lively and informative text, Robin Jones
provides the ideal guide to this much visited yet
little known glory of England.
An English graduate of the University of
Central England, Robin Jones was born in
Shirley, Solihull, attended a grammar school in
the town and became a news editor and chief
investigative reporter at the Birmingham
Evening Mail after several years covering
Solihull for the paper.
He served as a councillor on Tanworth-in-
Arden Parish Council and he and his wife Jenny
and two children Vicky and Ross lived at
Earlswood Lakes for ten years.
They are shareholders of a local football
club, Highgate United, and Robin has also
written extensively on non-league football
over the years.
His first book, A Solihull Century, was
published in 1997, and he has also written
scripts for video films on the rivers Blythe and
Alne and the Stratford-upon-Avon Canal.
Despite moving to Lincolnshire, where
he founded Heritage Railway magazine, a
national glossy enthusiast title, as a photo journalist
he has continued to produce historical
features on Solihull and Warwickshire for a
variety of publications. He is also editor of the
British fan magazine for the Beach Boys.
Imprint: Halsgrove. ISBN 978 1 84114 932 5, hardback, 214x230mm, 144 pages. Published May 2010.