the illustrated shakespeare
Despite being one of the most famous Elizabethans outside of the royal court, and due to vague and inconsistent records kept during the Elizabethan era, the facts known about Shakespeare are few and far between. There are just two primary sources for information on the Bard: his works, and various legal and church documents that have survived.

However, it would be a mistake to think that Shakespeare life holds any unusual mystery. Since comparatively, Shakespeare's life is unusually well-documented. More is known about Shakespeare than any other professional dramatist of his time. There are well over 100 references to Shakespeare and his immediate family in local parish, municipal, and commercial archives and we also have at least fifty observations about Shakespeare's plays (and through them, his life) from his contemporaries. The structure of Shakespeare's life is remarkably sound; it is the flesh of his personal experience, his motives, and the like that have no firm basis and it is, of course.

In his personal life, Shakespeare was, in fact, an exceedingly practical individual, undoubtedly a jack of many useful trades, and a shrewd businessman in theatrical, commercial and real estate circles.

The notion that plays ascribed to Shakespeare were actually written by others (Sir Francis Bacon, the poet Phillip Sidney among the candidates) has become even weaker over time. The current strong consensus is that while Shakespeare may have collaborated with another Elizabethan playwright in at least one instance (probably with John Fletcher on The Two Noble Kinsman), and that one or two of his plays were completed by someone else (possibly Fletcher on an original or revised version of Henry VIII), the works ascribed to Shakespeare are his.

William Shakespeare was born to John and Mary Shakespeare, on April 23, 1564 (St. Georges Day), within Avon, and in a house on Henley Street, owned by his father. The register of Holy Trinity parish church, in Stratford records Shakespeare's baptism on 26 April, 1564. Showing the following entry: Gulielmus filius Johannes Shakespeare

Although there is no physical evidence suggesting the exact date of his birth, it was common practice for the time to follow the teachings of the common book of prayer, in which is required that a child be baptized on the nearest Sunday or holy day following the birth, unless the parents had a legitimate excuse.