This page offers a complete biography of Shakespeare, from birth to death. Read the whole William Shakespeare biography, or skip to the section of Shakespeare’s life you’re most interested in:
Read Our Favourite Shakespeare Biographies in Print
There are so many books out there about Shakespeare and his life, but these four below are our all-time favourites. Each one is readable, informative and well worth relaxing with for a few hours to get a deeper understanding about the man himself:
Despite William Shakespeare’s fame as a historical figure, there are very few hard facts known about him. Historians use the following primary sources to piece together his life:
- Shakespeare’s works — the plays, poems and sonnets.
- Official records such as church and court records (available here).
- Written commentary about Shakespeare and his work from contemporaries such as Robert Green and Ben Johnson.
Biographers over the years have amassed an immense amount of knowledge and information Some fact, some opinion. A key purpose of this biography of William Shakespeare has been to make clear what is supposition or assumption rather than fact. We acknowledge here our reference to the following established secondary sources:
Bill Bryson. Shakespeare. London. Wilkie Collins. 2016
Peter Ackroyd. Shakespeare the biography. London. Vintage 2006.
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