Shakespeare's Restless World: A Portrait of an Era in Twenty Objects

Shakespeare's Restless World: A Portrait of an Era in Twenty Objects

by Neil MacGregor


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780670026340
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/01/2013
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 6.34(w) x 9.28(h) x 1.13(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Neil MacGregor has been the director of the British Museum since 2002; prior to that, he was the director of the National Gallery in London. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller A History of the World in 100 Objects.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Inside the Wooden O vii

Chapter 1 England Goes Global 2

Chapter 2 Communion and Conscience 18

Chapter 3 Snacking Through Shakespeare 32

Chapter 4 Life Without Elizabeth 44

Chapter 5 Swordplay and Swagger 61

Chapter 6 Europe: Triumphs of the Past 74

Chapter 7 Ireland: Failures in the Present 89

Chapter 8 City Life, Urban Strife 105

Chapter 9 New Science, Old Magic 116

Chapter 10 Toil and Trouble 132

Chapter 11 Treason and Plots 147

Chapter 12 Sex and the City 160

Chapter 13 From London to Marrakesh 174

Chapter 14 Disguise and Deception 190

Chapter 15 The Flag That Failed 202

Chapter 16 A Time of Change, a Change of Time 215

Chapter 17 Plague and the Playhouse 228

Chapter 18 London Becomes Rome 242

Chapter 19 The Theatres of Cruelty 258

Chapter 20 Shakespeare Goes Global 272

List of Lead Objects 287

Bibliography 290

References 295

Picture Credits 303

Acknowledgements 310

Index 311

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Praise for Shakespeare’s Restless World

“What did Elizabethan theatergoers eat while watching Hamlet? British Museum Director MacGregor answers that question and many others as he examines 20 objects, now in museums and libraries, that illuminate daily life in Shakespearean England. . . . Beautifully illustrated, MacGregor’s history offers a vibrant portrait of Shakespeare’s dramatic, perilous, and exhilarating world.”
—Kirkus Reviews(starred review)

“Visually splendid, intellectually stimulating . . . Just as he did in A History of the World in 100 Objects, MacGregor repeatedly converts fascinating objects into talismans transporting readers across time and geography. In this volume, 20 well-chosen artifacts open perspectives on both Shakespeare’s literary art and his historical circumstances.”
—Booklist (starred review)
“With just a collection of twenty odd objects, Neil MacGregor offers sparkling insights into Shakespeare’s times and how the Elizabethans really lived. . . . Filled with anecdotes and insights, eerie, funny, poignant and grotesque, Shakespeare’s Restless World is another brilliant vindication of MacGregor’s understanding of how physical objects enter deep into our fore-father’s mental and spiritual world.”
Sunday Times (London)
“MacGregor wants us to see both how the past shapes and shades our present but—equally—how strange and alien it should feel. . . . He shows time and again how the epoch-making changes that the Stratford playwright both lived through and expressed still echo through our arguments and anxieties over community and identity.”
The Independent
“A revelation . . . MacGregor’s choice of clocks, mirrors, and swords opens a door on to the lost world of London’s theatregoers in and around 1600. . . . The interrogation of these objects yields a sequence of fascinating footnotes to Shakespeare’s timeless poetry.”
The Observer (London)

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Shakespeare's Restless World: A Portrait of an Era in Twenty Objects 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
StephWard More than 1 year ago
4.5 Stars As a graduate student in English, I've had a lot of exposure to Shakespeare throughout my college and graduate career. I have always been a huge fan of the Bard and his works and the time period when he lived always intrigued me as well. This book was a perfect blend of history and biography as the author takes us into the life and times of Shakespeare. The book tells of various objects that helped to define the period of time that Shakespeare and his contemporaries lived in. Although this is a nonfiction book, it's told in a very conversational tone which makes all the information accessible and fascinating - not bored and dry. Aiding the narrative and historical facts are fantastic illustrations, maps, and copies to show the views, beliefs, ideals, and general lifestyle of Shakespeare's time. The various media included in the book really added to the text and made it more exciting and easier to picture for the reader. The writing was well done - informative and full of great facts and history, but - like I mentioned above - it wasn't dry or boring to read. I enjoyed learning all about the different facets of life during that time period and this book does a wonderful job of explaining, highlighting, and illustrating some really fascinating aspects not everyone knows about. Highly recommended for fans of history nonfiction and Shakespeare buffs alike. Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.