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Guide Shakespeares Restless World: An Unexpected History in Twenty Objects

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Paperback Ebook. View more editions. Buy from. Next time you see one of the plays reading this book will make those first audiences seem real to you' Peter Lewis, Daily Mail 'How gripping are these tales from a lost world. Share at. More from this Author. Living with the Gods Neil MacGregor. Germany Neil MacGregor.

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Please enter a valid email address. 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. It informs so much about a culture, a period, and Shakespeare. Through twenty objects and lots of references to Shakespeare's plays, Neil MacGregor makes years of Shakespeare come alive.

This book will give depth to anyone who has read or continues to read Shakespeare or other works of the time. It will be interesting to those who love history. I wished so many times that I had had this book when I was teaching Shakespeare.

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

It does so muc I loved this book. It does so much toward making a modern reader understand what he would never have known otherwise about a different way of living and seeing life. Apr 19, Jennifer rated it really liked it Shelves: research , library , history. In this book, Neil MacGregor takes twenty objects from Shakespeare's time--everything from a fancy fork found in the stalls of the Rose Theater, to James I's plague declarations, to a mummified eyeball from an executed Catholic priest--and relates them to the Bard's plays and the world of Elizabethan England at large.

While it's by no means an exhaustive study of the period, it's rich in little details that sparked my imagination. Dec 24, GypsyBookworm rated it really liked it. Good book with nice pictures. Nothing to write home about but it was nice. Apr 13, Paul Brannan rated it really liked it. There are screeds of scholarly opinion and conspiracy theories out there, all of which are drawn from the barest scraps of information. The authorship debate is at once both fascinating and sterile.


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Was the true author my fellow Stratfordian, William, or was it Edward de Vere, Francis Bacon, Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson or any of the other dozens of candidates advanced over the past two centuries? Plots and conspiracies are seen everywhere, Jesuit priests are hunted down and tortured; martyrdom represents the ultimate test of faith and sacrifice. Plague, pestilence, state-directed hangings and dismemberment, mean death is never far away.

Issues such as the succession, no more than tabloid fodder now had, back then, the potential to unleash persecution and terror at every level of society. I have never been. Either at school or later. Most of the time it was only the movies through which I discovered Shakespeare or through a play here and there, which I really wanted to read. Besides that I did not care much about the guy.


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I might even reread some works just to understand more about the times he lived in and to put everything in context with the book I just finished reading. At this stage, I must also mention that MacGregor is the director of The British Museum, so getting hold of these objects must have been pretty easy for him. Having said that, what worked most for me was the premise of the book.

Shakespeare's Restless World : Dr Neil MacGregor (author) : : Blackwell's

It is unique in its approach. It speaks to us about the times gone by, the objects and their meaning in those times and how Shakespeare finally has emerged to be a world-wide phenomenon. The reason I loved this book is it is but obviously written differently and at the same time, it is not a boring read at all. It makes you want to know more. After all what could be the relation between a fork not invented in England and Shakespeare? What could be the connection between swords and battles and the plays as written by the man?

To what extent was he influenced by his world and the objects around him? I also cannot stop gushing about the book. In fact, at a point, I also went back and reread my favourite parts. The book is written in a superb manner.

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There are parts that are funny and parts that are not so. The objects picked are so unique and that is the major point of the book. The vivid description of the objects along with a lot of pictures — so please do not read this on an E-reader adds to the writing and how the influences came about. A must read for history and Shakespeare fans As a far of Shakespeare and a resident of Warwickshire where he was born and lived, I didn't think there was much I didn't know about his life and the town. However, this book has opened my eyes to so many new things about this time and the influences over this man and his writing.

This book is based on the Radio 4 series which looks at the world in which Shakespeare wrote his plays and took his influence, based upon a series of objects from around that period. The objects range from the first co As a far of Shakespeare and a resident of Warwickshire where he was born and lived, I didn't think there was much I didn't know about his life and the town.

The objects range from the first collection of Shakespeare's plays to the navigation medal of Francis Drake. Each object in this book is explored in great detail with beautiful pictures and descriptions of the object in question, along with great exploration of the context in which this item existed and the inspiration this had on Shakespeare's plays.

The writer goes to great lengths to draw the leader into the world under the reign of Elizabeth I and James I, looking at the religious uncertainty at that time, the questions surrounding Elizabeth's succession and the exploration of the world and expanding trade which was occurring at the time. The book looks at the influence of Venice, a key trading port at the time and a key location in many of Shakespeare's plays. Many of the items are linked with the undercover Catholicism which many were forced to practise in Elizabethan England, and the author provides the reader with great background as to why these items were so important at the time.

I could go on and on about the items in this book and the wonderful way in which the author not only describes the England of the time, but also the link with the Bard himself. There is much deliberation and conspiracy about whether Shakespeare wrote many of his plays, as how could a simple man from Stratford-Upon-Avon know so much about the wider world. This book answers that question, and many more, and really gives both a visual and detailed insight into Shakespeare's world. Our school systems take learning apart, separating science from art, history from culture, teaching us each subject in its own cubbyhole.

James I, when he was still James VI of Scotland, had three women put to death for supposedly causing a storm at sea that nearly downed the ship he was on. Fortunately, Shakespeare had already acquired some wealth and renown and found a patron to fund his sonnet writing.

They even believed Julius Caesar had built the Tower of London. Jul 19, Kirsten rated it it was amazing. Terrific and accessible insight into Elizabethan life and the socio-political environment surrounding Shakespeare's works.


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  7. The political framework - the "hard" history - was bolstered by enough information about quotidian social and physical norms - "soft" information - that can captivate. An example: what did people eat while watching plays at the Globe?