A VALE historian unveiled a newly-discovered portrait of William Shakespeare at a seminar given at Goldsmiths College, University of London, last week.

Simon Andrew Stirling, aged 47 of Norton, near Evesham, was giving a talk on The Faces of Shakespeare when he unveiled the Wadlow portrait.

Mr Stirling's book, Who Killed William Shakespeare?, was published by The History Press last year. The award-winning writer drew heavily on local knowledge and traditions in his research, which included following up a 130-year old story about Shakespeare's missing skull.

And it was this work that led the owner of the portrait to contact Mr Stirling.

"It was only after my book was published that the owner of the Wadlow portrait got in touch with me," said Mr Stirling.

"It's a remarkable portrait, not just for the quality of the image, which still looks fresh after 400 years, but for the details it reveals of Shakespeare's face.

"Certain details appear on Shakespeare portraits and these distinguishing features help us to identify which images really do portray the Bard.

"The Wadlow portrait matches the proportions of the better known portraits, but it also shows the distinguishing facial features in great detail."

Mr Stirling will be appearing at Stratford Literary Festival on Tuesday, April 29, where he will be giving a talk about his continuing research into Shakespeare's life and death.