By now research and criticism have shed so much light on Shakespeare that anyone interested enough to read these books knows the broad outlines of his life: childhood and schooling in Stratford in a household probably hiding condemned Roman Catholicism under a Protestant facade; marriage at 18 to the 26-year-old Anne Hathaway and the births of three children; the so-called lost years, during which Will may have worked for a butcher (unlikely) or tutored in the homes of Lancashire nobility (more likely). The coming to London as actor, playwright and poet, involved in the rivalries among various acting companies and competition with fellow playwrights. Perhaps also something about the mainly good relations with two monarchs, Elizabeth and James, and with certain prominent noblemen. Finally, the retirement to Stratford and life as a wealthy landowner, only sporadically punctuated by collaboration with other dramatists.
Personally, I hail the anonymous student who stated, “Shakespeare’s plays were written by William Shakespeare or another man of that name.”