WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (26 April 1564 (baptized) – 23 April 1616) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon”. His extant works, including some collaborations, consist of about 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, two epitaphs on a man named John Combe, one epitaph on Elias James, and several other poems. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.
HELEN STREET grew up in Yorkshire in the north of England, and while living in York became involved in theatre and education, regularly working with children on productions of Shakespeare’s best-known plays. She now divides her time between England and France, where she is renovating a semi-derelict farmhouse.