Shakespeare: Staging the World - the exhibition catalogue from British Museum available to buy at Museum Bookstore

Shakespeare: Staging the World

Regular price £24.95

'The catalogue should be in every school library in the land. Indeed, every such library should have 20 copies in armour-plated bindings that will survive a century of careless handling. Indeed, I shall go further and suggest that every student of English literature should have his own copy and that the book should never go out of print' - The Evening Standard

Shakespeare: Staging the World - British Museum

Shakespeare: Staging the World is an authoritative and enlightening view of the early modern world through the eyes of Shakespeare, his players and audiences. This beautifully produced book presents a collection of objects from the British Museum's exhibition which was part of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad and the World Shakespeare festival. 

Linking historical objects and works of art with Shakespeare's texts, the book reveals how the playwright informed his audiences of the major events and political issues of the day. Readers learn how a sixteenth-century dagger fished from the Thames gives new significance to the gang violence of Romeo and Juliet; how Henry V's saddle, helm and shield recall the depiction of war in the history plays;  and how Guy Fawkes' lantern illustrates the failed gunpowder plot, later to prove the inspiration for Macbeth.

This book is highly recommended. It is a valuable addition to the library of any Shakespeare scholar; a fascinating collection of early modern artefacts for the historian and a beautiful and informative guide to the world of Shakespeare for the general reader.

  • Authors: Jonathan Bate, Provost of Worcester College, Oxford and Dora Thornton, Curator of Renaissance Europe at the British Museum
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Date published: April 2012
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 978-0714128245
  • Product Dimensions: 24.9 x 22.1 x 2.3 cm

★★★★ The Telegraph

★★★★ 'an exhibition that takes us on a journey from medieval England and the forest of Arden to Venice, Rome and Prospero's fantasy island' - The Guardian

'Stands by itself as a scholarly and enormously enjoyable portrait of an age and of the world as known to its greatest dramatist' - The Spectator

'This richly illuminated - and illuminating - book is a brilliant introduction to the world Shakespeare inhabited, refashioned in his capacious imagination, and bequeathed to us.' Stephen Greenblatt

'Shakespeare: Staging the World cleverly shows how a historical understanding of the places and things that Shakespeare knew peel away layers of meaning in his plays' - The Independent

'The catalogue should be in every school library in the land. Indeed, every such library should have 20 copies in armour-plated bindings that will survive a century of careless handling. Indeed, I shall go further and suggest that every student of English literature should have his own copy and that the book should never go out of print' - The Evening Standard

Read our blog post about the work that went into bringing this wonderful exhibition catalogue to life.

Shakespeare Staging the World

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