Authoritative, surprising, evocative and original, "Shakespeare: staging the world" offers a completely new approach to one of the most exceptional creative imaginations in history. While matters of religion, trade and war were being contested, the role of the playwright developed to inform, persuade and provoke debate on the concerns of the day. This richly illustrated book presents an extraordinary collection of objects from the British Museum's unrivalled collection, as well as key pieces from Britain and elsewhere. Simon Forman's diary of 1611 gives a vivid account of attending a contemporary performance of "A Winter's Tale"; a dagger fished from the Thames gives new resonance to the gang violence of "Romeo and Juliet"; while Guy Fawkes' lantern illustrates the Catholic counterculture revealed through the failed Gunpowder Plot, which was later to prove the inspiration for "Macbeth". "Shakespeare: staging the world" is a fascinating view of the early modern world through the eyes of Shakespeare, his players and audiences.
"A fascinating account of Shakespeare's cosmopolitan world, illustrated with breathtaking images that bring to life the rich material culture that shaped Shakespeare's writings and his age. This is a superb volume, one that will have pride of place on my bookshelf." (Professor James Shapiro, author of "1599" and "Contested Will").