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William Shakespeare - Wikipedia
William Shakespeare, in terms of his life and his body of work, is the most written-about author in the history of Western civilization. His canon includes 38 plays, 154 sonnets, and 2 epic narrative poems. The First Folio (cover shown at left) was published posthumously in 1623 by two of Shakespeare's acting companions, John Heminges and Henry Condell. Ever since then, the works of Shakespeare have been studied, analyzed, and enjoyed as some of the finest masterpieces of the English language.
Shakespeare Resource Center - Shakespeare's Biography
For all his fame and celebration, William Shakespeare remains a mysterious figure with regards to personal history. There are just two primary sources for information on the Bard: his works, and various legal and church documents that have survived from times. Naturally, there are many gaps in this body of information, which tells us little about Shakespeare the man.