It is often remarked that we know a great deal about William Shakespeares career, his work, his financial investments and legal entanglements, but very little about what really interests us most: his private life, his emotions, his personality. If this is true for William Shakespeare, it applies even more to the woman who would have been entirely forgotten had she not been Shakespeares wife: Anne Hathaway. There are some tantalising but inconclusive hints about her life with Shakespeare: the likelihood of premarital pregnancy, the eight-year age difference, and the bequest of the second-best bed in her husbands will. In addition, there is the Latin epitaph inscribed on her tomb, praising her as a loving mother. These facts have been construed in a number of sometimes antithetical ways: as evidence of a shot-gun wedding resulting in lasting unhappiness; or of a passionate love affair maturing into a strong mutual loyalty that survived decades of work-related separations, possibly even infidelity, until Shakespeare retired to Stratford a few years before his death.