Shakespeare's Restless World

Author(s): Neil MacGregor


The New York Times bestselling author of A History of the World in 100 Objects brings the world of Shakespeare and the Tudor era of Elizabeth I into focus

We feel we know Shakespeare’s characters. Think of Hamlet, trapped in indecision, or Macbeth’s merciless and ultimately self-destructive ambition, or the Machiavellian rise and short reign of Richard III. They are so vital, so alive and real that we can see aspects of ourselves in them. But their world was at once familiar and nothing like our own.

In this brilliant work of historical reconstruction Neil MacGregor and his team at the British Museum, working together in a landmark collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the BBC, bring us twenty objects that capture the essence of Shakespeare’s universe. A perfect complement to A History of the World in 100 Objects, MacGregor’s landmark New York Times bestseller, Shakespeare’s Restless World highlights a turning point in human history.

This magnificent book, illustrated throughout with more than one hundred vibrant color photographs, invites you to travel back in history and to touch, smell, and feel what life was like at that pivotal moment, when humankind leaped into the modern age. This was an exhilarating time when discoveries in science and technology altered the parameters of the known world. Sir Francis Drake’s circumnavigation map allows us to imagine the age of exploration from the point of view of one of its most ambitious navigators. A bishop’s cup captures the most sacred and divisive act in Christendom.

With A History of the World in 100 Objects, MacGregor pioneered a new way of telling history through artifacts. Now he trains his eye closer to home, on a subject that has mesmerized him since childhood, and lets us see Shakespeare and his world in a whole new light.


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Shakespeare fans and history buffs alike will enjoy this vibrant book – the writer’s passion for Shakespeare and his world is so evident in the text. MacGregor uses a unique lens with which to look at Shakespearean studies, explaining even seemingly inconsequential objects from the period to contextualise the plays we know and love. This is a wonderful book to get lost in. 
- Greer, The Book Grocer 

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."

General Fields

  • : 9780670026340
  • : Viking Books
  • : Viking Books
  • : 0.798
  • : January 2013
  • : 24.00 cmmm X 15.20 cmmm X 2.90 cmmm
  • : United States
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Neil MacGregor
  • : Hardback
  • : en
  • : 942.055
  • : 320
  • : black & white illustrations, colour illustrations, maps, frontispiece