Carol Ann Duffy's "Anne Hathaway" first appeared in the British poet's 1999 collection, The World's Wife. As with the other poems in this collection, "Anne Hathaway" imagines the perspective of a female counterpart to a famous male figure—in this case, Anne Hathaway, the wife of William Shakespeare. In the poem, the widowed Hathaway reflects on the passionate love she shared with her husband, describing their physical intimacy using language typically used to talk about poetry. In doing so, Hathaway presents lovemaking as an artistic, creative act while also emphasizing the enduring power of her husband's writing. The poem isa sonnet (not coincidentally, a form Shakespeare helped popularize), and it riffs on a famous bit of trivia about the couple: Shakespeare bequeathed his "second best bed" to Hathaway in his will. While this might sound like an insult, this probably referred to the couple's marital bed, the "best bed" being set aside for guests.