William Shakespeare was born in April 1564 in the town of
Stratford-upon-Avon, on England's Avon River. When he was eighteen,
he married Anne Hathaway. The couple had three children-an older
daughter Susanna and twins, Judith and Hamnet. Hamnet,
Shakespeare's only son, died in childhood. The bulk of
Shakespeare's working life was spent in the theater world of
London, where he established himself professionally by the early
1590s. He enjoyed success not only as a playwright and poet, but
also as an actor and shareholder in an acting company. Although
some think that sometime between 1610 and 1613 Shakespeare retired
from the theater and returned home to Stratford, where he died in
1616, others believe that he may have continued to work in London
until close to his death.
Barbara A. Mowat is Director of Research emerita at the Folger Shakespeare Library, Consulting Editor of Shakespeare Quarterly, and author of The Dramaturgy of Shakespeare's Romances and of essays on Shakespeare's plays and their editing.
Paul Werstine is Professor of English at the Graduate School and at King's University College at Western University. He is a general editor of the New Variorum Shakespeare and author of Early Modern Playhouse Manuscripts and the Editing of Shakespeare and of many papers and articles on the printing and editing of Shakespeare's plays.