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Shakespeare's Restless World: An Unexpected History in Twenty Objects (Hardback)
  • Shakespeare's Restless World: An Unexpected History in Twenty Objects (Hardback)

Shakespeare's Restless World: An Unexpected History in Twenty Objects (Hardback)

Hardback Published: 27/09/2012
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From Neil MacGregor, the acclaimed creator of "A History of the World in 100 Objects" and the Director of the British Museum, comes a unique, enthralling exploration of the age of William Shakespeare to accompany a new BBC Radio 4 series. Shakespeare lived through a pivotal period in human history. With the discovery of the New World, the horizons of Old Europe were expanding dramatically - and long-cherished certainties were crumbling. Life was exhilaratingly uncertain. What were Londoners thinking when they went to see Shakespeare's plays? What was it like living in their world? Here Neil MacGregor looks at twenty objects from Shakespeare's life and times, and uncovers the fascinating stories behind them. The objects themselves range from the grand (such as the hoard of gold coins that make up the Salcombe treasure) to the very humble, like the battered trunk and worn garments of an unknown pedlar. But in each case, they allow MacGregor to explore issues as diverse as piracy and Islam, Catholicism and disguise. MacGregor weaves the histories of objects into the words of Shakespeare's plays themselves to suggest to us where his ideas about religion, national identity, the history of England and the world, human nature itself, may have come from. The result is a fresh and thrilling evocation of Shakespeare's world.

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781846146756

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“Good read, great figures - Would Recommend”

In quintessential MacGregor fashion the bard is examined through 20 objects contemporary to Shakespearian times. One expecting a biography of Shakespeare may be disappointed, as the book focuses on the concerns,... More

8th October 2012
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“Interesting Social History”

This was a well-written look at the social history at the end of the 16th century. It was like visiting a museum or viewing art work with a really well-informed friend. MacGregor very clkearly and helpfully explained... More

29th September 2012
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“Meeting Shakespeare's audience”

The book is a beautifully produced complement to the BBC radio series of the same name in which Neil MacGregor demonstrates his belief that the way to understand Shakespeare’s contemporaries is to examine objects... More

25th September 2012
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