From a humble Stratford-on-Avon village emerged one of the world’s greatest writers,
William Shakespeare (about whom very little is actuallyknown). He 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" (or simply "The Bard"). His surviving works consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, 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.
The town of Stratford is still charming although quite touristic. It lies on the River Avon, 22 miles (35 km) south east of Birmingham and 8 miles (13 km) south west of the county town, Warwick. It is the main town of the District of Stratford-on-Avon, which uses the term "on" to indicate that it covers a much larger area than the town itself. In 2001, the town’s population was 24,000.
Stratford has several learning institutions for studying literature, including the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and the Shakespeare Institute (part of the University of Birmingham).
On the River Avon is the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, unquestionably the finest venue for Shakesperean plays in the world.