Undoubtedly the greatest love story ever written, Romeo and Juliet has spawned a host of imitators on stage and screen and been adapted countless times. A young man and woman meet by chance and instantly fall in love. But their families are bitter enemies, and in order to be together the two lovers must be prepared to risk everything. Set in a city torn apart by feuds and gang warfare, Romeo and Juliet is a dazzling combination of passion and hatred, bawdy comedy and high tragedy. This Macmillan Collector's Library edition is illustrated throughout by renowned artist Sir John Gilbert (1817-1897), and includes an introduction by Ned Halley. William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, in 1564. The date of his birth is unknown but is celebrated on 23 April, which happens to be St George's Day, and the day in 1616 on which Shakespeare died. Aged eighteen, he married Anne Hathaway. They had three children. Around 1585 William joined an acting troupe on tour in Stratford from London, and thereafter spent much of his life in the capital. By 1595 he had written five of his history plays, six comedies and his first tragedy, Romeo and Juliet. In all, he wrote thirty-seven plays and much poetry, and earned enormous fame in his own lifetime in prelude to his immortality.