'The Bard' is William Shakespeare, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language.
Born in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1564, he built a successful career in London as an actor, a writer and the co-owner of the Lord Chamberlain's Men, a company of actors. He returned to Stratford for his last years, and died there in 1616.
His best known works were produced between 1589 and 1613. They included comedies (such as The Tempest, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Twelfth Night), histories (Henry V and Richard III) and tragedies (Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet), as well as poetry such as his Sonnets and Venus and Adonis.