Shakespeare's Restless World: Portrait of an Era

Shakespeare's Restless World: Portrait of an Era[EPUB] ✵ Shakespeare's Restless World: Portrait of an Era By Neil MacGregor – Jobs-in-kingston.co.uk The New York Times bestselling author of A History of the World in Objects brings the world of Shakespeare and the Tudor era of Elizabeth I into focus We feel we know Shakespeare s characters Think o The New York Times bestselling author of World: Portrait PDF ☆ A History of the World inObjects brings the world of Shakespeare and the Tudor era of Elizabeth I into focus We feel we know Shakespeare s characters Think of Shakespeare's Restless MOBI :¿ 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 Restless World: Portrait PDF/EPUB å 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 inObjects, MacGregor s landmark New York Times bestseller, Shakespeare s Restless World highlights a turning point in human history This magnificent book, illustrated throughout with 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 WithA History of the World inObjects, 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. All the world s a stage And all senses are involved in this reading experience of the colourful, noisy world of Shakespearean times, if you take the time both to read the book and listen to the BBC radio show I would highly recommend it, actually, even though the content is almost identical Listening to the radio, with added background sounds, and different narrator voices, is very rewarding, and makes the Shakespeare quotes come alive with the speakers I would probably not have bought th All the world s a stage And all senses are involved in this reading experience of the colourful, noisy world of Shakespearean times, if you take the time both to read the book and listen to the BBC radio show I would highly recommend it, actually, even though the content is almost identical Listening to the radio, with added background sounds, and different narrator voices, is very rewarding, and makes the Shakespeare quotes come alive with the speakers I would probably not have bought the book after listening to the whole show if I hadn t come across a beautiful, unread copy secondhand which was signed by the author That temptation was too big, of course, and I did not regret my choice After the auditive pleasure of the first experience, I now enjoyed the illustrations of the print version just as much as the easily flowing, captivating prose.I found myself reading the whole book, word for word, as well, because it just blew me away It will not contain anything new about Shakespeare s plays for literature scholars But for lovers of art, literature and history, it is an amazing treasure chest full of artefacts symbolising the world that Shakespeare drew from for his plays Neil MacGregor excels at describing small objects in a wider context and at making time stand still for a quarter of an hour while he explores the world as seen through the lense of the things human beings make, use and keep The reader is invited to wander the streets of London around 1600, and to step into the shoes of the people who filled the theatres of the Southbank, one of which was Shakespeare s Globe Almost as if by accident, the history of the time is explained and shown not only through the chosen objects, but through the unforgettable lines of Shakespeare s plays as well It seems effortless but illustrates MacGregor s vast and deep knowledge of the period The book concludes with an emotional connection to our world of today, showing the effect of Shakespeare s plays on people around the world, in various different situations A touching anecdote of Marcel Reich Ranicki s Shakespearean quote during a time of utter stress in the Warsaw Ghetto demonstrates the development of Shakespearean words, moving from local Elizabethan stages in England in 1600 to become universal collections of stories for all the world to admire, over 400 years later For those living the dark moments of history, as for those exploring the wilder or the sweeter shores of love, Shakespeare s words console, inspire, illuminate and question More simply, they capture for us the essence of what it is for us to be restlessly human in a constantly restless world Recommended to anyone with a passion for Shakespeare, history and art A revelationMacGregor s choice of clocks, mirrors and swords opens a door on to the lost world of London s theatregoers in and around 1600.The interrogation of these objects yields a sequence of fascinating footnotes to Shakespeare s timeless poetry Neil MacGregor is a world renowned museum director who transformed the British Museum since he took charge in 2002 He is the author of A History of the World in 100 Objects a New York Times bestseller He is the author of Germany, Memorie A revelationMacGregor s choice of clocks, mirrors and swords opens a door on to the lost world of London s theatregoers in and around 1600.The interrogation of these objects yields a sequence of fascinating footnotes to Shakespeare s timeless poetry Neil MacGregor is a world renowned museum director who transformed the British Museum since he took charge in 2002 He is the author of A History of the World in 100 Objects a New York Times bestseller He is the author of Germany, Memories of a Nation named Book of the Year by The Times Literary Supplement and a favorite book of mine.Example of twenty objects reproduced in MacGregor s work Hakluyt Principal Navigations 1599 Shakespeare s reference in Twelfth Night to the new map with the augmentation of the Indies.Francis Drake 1580 who is depicted with his hand on a globe to highlight his great feat.Portrait of David Kindt who was master of the Hamburg painters guild He painted himself with a watch, a new and valuable item In Twelfth Night, Malvolio fantasizes about being a rich watch owning gentleman.Plutarch s Lives, as translated by Thomas North in either the 1579 or 1595 editions, was probably Shakespeare s most important source for his Roman plays, especially Julius Caesar 1599.The so called First Folio London, 1623 was brought together by Shakespeare s colleagues John Heminges and Henry Condell onely to keepe the memory of so worthy a Friend, Fellow alive image error imported 16 A Change of Time A rare domestic clock, with an equally rare minute hand and quarter hour chimes, reveals the changing relationship Shakespeare s audiences had to time.17 Plague and the Playhouse May 1603 saw not only a new king but the worst plague outbreak since the Black Death Its impact and reach is told through a series of early 17th century proclamations.18 London Becomes Rome A set of coronation designs reveals the depth of classical knowledge in Shakespea image error imported 16 A Change of Time A rare domestic clock, with an equally rare minute hand and quarter hour chimes, reveals the changing relationship Shakespeare s audiences had to time.17 Plague and the Playhouse May 1603 saw not only a new king but the worst plague outbreak since the Black Death Its impact and reach is told through a series of early 17th century proclamations.18 London Becomes Rome A set of coronation designs reveals the depth of classical knowledge in Shakespeare s time19 The Theatres of Cruelty A human eyeball in a silver setting provides a striking insight into the theatre of cruelty in Elizabethan and Jacobean Britain.20 Shakespeare Goes Global How Shakespeare has inspired and influenced people across the globe and through the ages.Looks juiceh Telegraph review Description 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.About the Author Neil MacGregor has been Director of the British Museum since August 2002 He was previously Director of the National Gallery in London from 1987 to 2002.4 A portrait painted in 1571 to justify and celebrate Elizabeth I s position in the Tudor succession, by the 1590s, with no direct Tudor heir, had very different implications.5 A rapier and a dagger, essential accoutrements of any self respecting gentleman, illustrate the extent of violence in Elizabethan London both onstage and off.4 Marvellous stuff O This book is both the most information, and the most fun, I have had all year I missed the BBC radio series on which it was based, so it was all new to me Basically, it takes 20 objects that were current in Shakespeare s time and place, from a fork dropped in the theatre, through plague proclamations, Henry V s armour and a model ship, to the hapless designs for a union flag commissioned by King James, and uses these objects to illuminate the plays All the way through, I was muttering why di This book is both the most information, and the most fun, I have had all year I missed the BBC radio series on which it was based, so it was all new to me Basically, it takes 20 objects that were current in Shakespeare s time and place, from a fork dropped in the theatre, through plague proclamations, Henry V s armour and a model ship, to the hapless designs for a union flag commissioned by King James, and uses these objects to illuminate the plays All the way through, I was muttering why did I never think of that before Reading or seeing the plays in isolation from their context, one can easily forget that, for instance, Shakespeare was 16 when Francis Drake circumnavigated the world and that this had generated a fashion for maps and globes that makes the name of his most famous theatre seem a lottopical and relevant than we might have thought.The book is full of fascinating and useful information eg the price of admission to the theatre, one penny, which was the same as the price of admission to see Henry V s armour in Westminster Abbey And the fact that theatre performances and afternoon church services both began at 2pm, which explains a lot of church hostility to the theatre It is also, having been co produced by BBC Radio and the British Museum as well as the publisher, Allen Lane, full of fascinating and beautifully produced illustrations of the objects in question Strangely enough, I didn t find the human eye in a reliquary anywhere near as moving as Henry s battered, shabby shield or the fancy fork engraved with its careless owner s initials, A.N.Paradoxically, the firmness with which the book locates Shakespeare in his own time and place merely emphasises his universal, timeless relevance, with which the last chapter is rather movingly concerned This book is beautifully produced, lavishly illustrated the 20 objects are only the start of it but above all, the text is intelligent, thoughtful and penetrating, giving a genuinely novel and informative angle on the plays Let s never forget that it came about as a result of a radio series by one of the very few broadcasters that would have undertaken such a project The BBC is as much of a cultural asset to our time as Shakespeare was to his we d surely miss this kind of enterprise if we didn t have Auntie The strange potency of things In this book, Neil MacGregor, director of the British Museum, uses a variety of material objects to get under the intellectual skin of the world during Shakespeare s life time, and explores the ways in which the plays were deeply grounded in the politics, religion, culture and material world from which they sprang.This approach, in line with current academic thinking, implicitly moves us away from the popular idea of Shakespeare as being some kind of extraordinary, The strange potency of things In this book, Neil MacGregor, director of the British Museum, uses a variety of material objects to get under the intellectual skin of the world during Shakespeare s life time, and explores the ways in which the plays were deeply grounded in the politics, religion, culture and material world from which they sprang.This approach, in line with current academic thinking, implicitly moves us away from the popular idea of Shakespeare as being some kind of extraordinary, timeless spirit whose plays float, somehow, outside of history Instead, this focuses on the historicised cultural markers that made the plays as contemporary and current as Private Eye or Have I Got News are for us today.MacGregor isn t seeking to understand Shakespeare the man but to uncover some of the shared communal assumptions that Shakespeare s audiences carried with them into the Globe and other theatres This is a wonderfully generous and inclusive book, both erudite and yet accessible I would imagine it s agonizingly difficult to choose twenty objects only from a time and place and highlight that era breathe life into the past, as it were That being said, and acknowledging the limitations MacGregor set for himself, this turned out to be quite an interesting little tryst with Shakespeare To be fair, this isrepresentative of MacGregor s knowledge of the Shakespeare canon than it is of 17th century England quotidian activity While he provides an interesting analysis of I would imagine it s agonizingly difficult to choose twenty objects only from a time and place and highlight that era breathe life into the past, as it were That being said, and acknowledging the limitations MacGregor set for himself, this turned out to be quite an interesting little tryst with Shakespeare To be fair, this isrepresentative of MacGregor s knowledge of the Shakespeare canon than it is of 17th century England quotidian activity While he provides an interesting analysis of many of the objects, there are far too many conjectures to suit the hungry historian in me I would have liked aclear cut distinction between his opinion and the evidence I found there were far too many would haves could haves scenarios In the end, they proved annoying and distracting.On my own wish list, I would have like itif the photography plates were better produced The sometimes blurred and indefinite reproductions detracted from the prose in the end, I felt myself rushing through it, just to get past the images, which were becoming bothersome.Having stated all my detractions, I think the BBC production would be a lot of fun to listen to without being distracted by all the little nits built into the book I will admit to being a Shakespeare aficionada, and have probably spent far too much timethan is good for me perhaps poring over his literature, that this picture book had high standards set for it before it ever came into my hands and so for that I apologize to MacGregor for stepping in with pre conceived notions Still, a very worthwhile read I mean it It provides an interesting view of the 17th century that many would never have imagined There is nothing much to say The book is awesome It s written in a great way and I was completely immersed in the world Well, I m a Shakespeare real, so no winder I liked the book But it s very interesting and I learned things I didn t know about Elizabethan England through the everyday objects. This book was so engaging I read it in one train ride and was pleasantly surprised to learn how 16th century England was perceived on a nationally as well as internationally This perception is analysed through important objects retained from that period. When we read Shakespeare in high school and college, this would have made a wonderful companion piece A better understanding of the era, would have made the plays come alive For example, this is what MacGregor has to say about measuring time p 218 Before 1600 the great majority of clocks had just a single hour hand, and the divisions of the hour were judged approximately so what now looks to us like a conventional clock was in 1598 as for Richard II cutting edge technology It would be ano When we read Shakespeare in high school and college, this would have made a wonderful companion piece A better understanding of the era, would have made the plays come alive For example, this is what MacGregor has to say about measuring time p 218 Before 1600 the great majority of clocks had just a single hour hand, and the divisions of the hour were judged approximately so what now looks to us like a conventional clock was in 1598 as for Richard II cutting edge technology It would be another 50 years before minute hands became standard.Then he provides several examples from the plays that reference time As a first time reader of Shakespeare, that would have given me something to watch no pun intended for while reading.Similarly, I hadn t connected Shakespeare with the plague Apparently he was born during one outbreak and managed to survive several later ones During severe outbreaks, the king closed the theaters, making it difficult for those who wrote and acted to earn a living MacGregor points out that even though the plague was very much a part of every Londoner s life there s minimal reference to the plague in any plays from that time period Maybe Shakespeare and the other writers figured when people wanted to be entertained they didn t need to be reminded of their fears.These are 2 of the 20 topics objects addressed in this book Religion and politics obviously shaped the tone of the times, but I found thesubtle aspects such as clocks, caps, and eating utensils to be the most intriguing This book gave me a good, concrete feel for Shakespeare s age and how it may have been manifested in his plays Recommended

Shakespeare's Restless World: Portrait of an Era PDF
    Shakespeare's Restless World: Portrait of an Era PDF 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 inObjects, MacGregor s landmark New York Times bestseller, Shakespeare s Restless World highlights a turning point in human history This magnificent book, illustrated throughout with 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 WithA History of the World inObjects, 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. All the world s a stage And all senses are involved in this reading experience of the colourful, noisy world of Shakespearean times, if you take the time both to read the book and listen to the BBC radio show I would highly recommend it, actually, even though the content is almost identical Listening to the radio, with added background sounds, and different narrator voices, is very rewarding, and makes the Shakespeare quotes come alive with the speakers I would probably not have bought th All the world s a stage And all senses are involved in this reading experience of the colourful, noisy world of Shakespearean times, if you take the time both to read the book and listen to the BBC radio show I would highly recommend it, actually, even though the content is almost identical Listening to the radio, with added background sounds, and different narrator voices, is very rewarding, and makes the Shakespeare quotes come alive with the speakers I would probably not have bought the book after listening to the whole show if I hadn t come across a beautiful, unread copy secondhand which was signed by the author That temptation was too big, of course, and I did not regret my choice After the auditive pleasure of the first experience, I now enjoyed the illustrations of the print version just as much as the easily flowing, captivating prose.I found myself reading the whole book, word for word, as well, because it just blew me away It will not contain anything new about Shakespeare s plays for literature scholars But for lovers of art, literature and history, it is an amazing treasure chest full of artefacts symbolising the world that Shakespeare drew from for his plays Neil MacGregor excels at describing small objects in a wider context and at making time stand still for a quarter of an hour while he explores the world as seen through the lense of the things human beings make, use and keep The reader is invited to wander the streets of London around 1600, and to step into the shoes of the people who filled the theatres of the Southbank, one of which was Shakespeare s Globe Almost as if by accident, the history of the time is explained and shown not only through the chosen objects, but through the unforgettable lines of Shakespeare s plays as well It seems effortless but illustrates MacGregor s vast and deep knowledge of the period The book concludes with an emotional connection to our world of today, showing the effect of Shakespeare s plays on people around the world, in various different situations A touching anecdote of Marcel Reich Ranicki s Shakespearean quote during a time of utter stress in the Warsaw Ghetto demonstrates the development of Shakespearean words, moving from local Elizabethan stages in England in 1600 to become universal collections of stories for all the world to admire, over 400 years later For those living the dark moments of history, as for those exploring the wilder or the sweeter shores of love, Shakespeare s words console, inspire, illuminate and question More simply, they capture for us the essence of what it is for us to be restlessly human in a constantly restless world Recommended to anyone with a passion for Shakespeare, history and art A revelationMacGregor s choice of clocks, mirrors and swords opens a door on to the lost world of London s theatregoers in and around 1600.The interrogation of these objects yields a sequence of fascinating footnotes to Shakespeare s timeless poetry Neil MacGregor is a world renowned museum director who transformed the British Museum since he took charge in 2002 He is the author of A History of the World in 100 Objects a New York Times bestseller He is the author of Germany, Memorie A revelationMacGregor s choice of clocks, mirrors and swords opens a door on to the lost world of London s theatregoers in and around 1600.The interrogation of these objects yields a sequence of fascinating footnotes to Shakespeare s timeless poetry Neil MacGregor is a world renowned museum director who transformed the British Museum since he took charge in 2002 He is the author of A History of the World in 100 Objects a New York Times bestseller He is the author of Germany, Memories of a Nation named Book of the Year by The Times Literary Supplement and a favorite book of mine.Example of twenty objects reproduced in MacGregor s work Hakluyt Principal Navigations 1599 Shakespeare s reference in Twelfth Night to the new map with the augmentation of the Indies.Francis Drake 1580 who is depicted with his hand on a globe to highlight his great feat.Portrait of David Kindt who was master of the Hamburg painters guild He painted himself with a watch, a new and valuable item In Twelfth Night, Malvolio fantasizes about being a rich watch owning gentleman.Plutarch s Lives, as translated by Thomas North in either the 1579 or 1595 editions, was probably Shakespeare s most important source for his Roman plays, especially Julius Caesar 1599.The so called First Folio London, 1623 was brought together by Shakespeare s colleagues John Heminges and Henry Condell onely to keepe the memory of so worthy a Friend, Fellow alive image error imported 16 A Change of Time A rare domestic clock, with an equally rare minute hand and quarter hour chimes, reveals the changing relationship Shakespeare s audiences had to time.17 Plague and the Playhouse May 1603 saw not only a new king but the worst plague outbreak since the Black Death Its impact and reach is told through a series of early 17th century proclamations.18 London Becomes Rome A set of coronation designs reveals the depth of classical knowledge in Shakespea image error imported 16 A Change of Time A rare domestic clock, with an equally rare minute hand and quarter hour chimes, reveals the changing relationship Shakespeare s audiences had to time.17 Plague and the Playhouse May 1603 saw not only a new king but the worst plague outbreak since the Black Death Its impact and reach is told through a series of early 17th century proclamations.18 London Becomes Rome A set of coronation designs reveals the depth of classical knowledge in Shakespeare s time19 The Theatres of Cruelty A human eyeball in a silver setting provides a striking insight into the theatre of cruelty in Elizabethan and Jacobean Britain.20 Shakespeare Goes Global How Shakespeare has inspired and influenced people across the globe and through the ages.Looks juiceh Telegraph review Description 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.About the Author Neil MacGregor has been Director of the British Museum since August 2002 He was previously Director of the National Gallery in London from 1987 to 2002.4 A portrait painted in 1571 to justify and celebrate Elizabeth I s position in the Tudor succession, by the 1590s, with no direct Tudor heir, had very different implications.5 A rapier and a dagger, essential accoutrements of any self respecting gentleman, illustrate the extent of violence in Elizabethan London both onstage and off.4 Marvellous stuff O This book is both the most information, and the most fun, I have had all year I missed the BBC radio series on which it was based, so it was all new to me Basically, it takes 20 objects that were current in Shakespeare s time and place, from a fork dropped in the theatre, through plague proclamations, Henry V s armour and a model ship, to the hapless designs for a union flag commissioned by King James, and uses these objects to illuminate the plays All the way through, I was muttering why di This book is both the most information, and the most fun, I have had all year I missed the BBC radio series on which it was based, so it was all new to me Basically, it takes 20 objects that were current in Shakespeare s time and place, from a fork dropped in the theatre, through plague proclamations, Henry V s armour and a model ship, to the hapless designs for a union flag commissioned by King James, and uses these objects to illuminate the plays All the way through, I was muttering why did I never think of that before Reading or seeing the plays in isolation from their context, one can easily forget that, for instance, Shakespeare was 16 when Francis Drake circumnavigated the world and that this had generated a fashion for maps and globes that makes the name of his most famous theatre seem a lottopical and relevant than we might have thought.The book is full of fascinating and useful information eg the price of admission to the theatre, one penny, which was the same as the price of admission to see Henry V s armour in Westminster Abbey And the fact that theatre performances and afternoon church services both began at 2pm, which explains a lot of church hostility to the theatre It is also, having been co produced by BBC Radio and the British Museum as well as the publisher, Allen Lane, full of fascinating and beautifully produced illustrations of the objects in question Strangely enough, I didn t find the human eye in a reliquary anywhere near as moving as Henry s battered, shabby shield or the fancy fork engraved with its careless owner s initials, A.N.Paradoxically, the firmness with which the book locates Shakespeare in his own time and place merely emphasises his universal, timeless relevance, with which the last chapter is rather movingly concerned This book is beautifully produced, lavishly illustrated the 20 objects are only the start of it but above all, the text is intelligent, thoughtful and penetrating, giving a genuinely novel and informative angle on the plays Let s never forget that it came about as a result of a radio series by one of the very few broadcasters that would have undertaken such a project The BBC is as much of a cultural asset to our time as Shakespeare was to his we d surely miss this kind of enterprise if we didn t have Auntie The strange potency of things In this book, Neil MacGregor, director of the British Museum, uses a variety of material objects to get under the intellectual skin of the world during Shakespeare s life time, and explores the ways in which the plays were deeply grounded in the politics, religion, culture and material world from which they sprang.This approach, in line with current academic thinking, implicitly moves us away from the popular idea of Shakespeare as being some kind of extraordinary, The strange potency of things In this book, Neil MacGregor, director of the British Museum, uses a variety of material objects to get under the intellectual skin of the world during Shakespeare s life time, and explores the ways in which the plays were deeply grounded in the politics, religion, culture and material world from which they sprang.This approach, in line with current academic thinking, implicitly moves us away from the popular idea of Shakespeare as being some kind of extraordinary, timeless spirit whose plays float, somehow, outside of history Instead, this focuses on the historicised cultural markers that made the plays as contemporary and current as Private Eye or Have I Got News are for us today.MacGregor isn t seeking to understand Shakespeare the man but to uncover some of the shared communal assumptions that Shakespeare s audiences carried with them into the Globe and other theatres This is a wonderfully generous and inclusive book, both erudite and yet accessible I would imagine it s agonizingly difficult to choose twenty objects only from a time and place and highlight that era breathe life into the past, as it were That being said, and acknowledging the limitations MacGregor set for himself, this turned out to be quite an interesting little tryst with Shakespeare To be fair, this isrepresentative of MacGregor s knowledge of the Shakespeare canon than it is of 17th century England quotidian activity While he provides an interesting analysis of I would imagine it s agonizingly difficult to choose twenty objects only from a time and place and highlight that era breathe life into the past, as it were That being said, and acknowledging the limitations MacGregor set for himself, this turned out to be quite an interesting little tryst with Shakespeare To be fair, this isrepresentative of MacGregor s knowledge of the Shakespeare canon than it is of 17th century England quotidian activity While he provides an interesting analysis of many of the objects, there are far too many conjectures to suit the hungry historian in me I would have liked aclear cut distinction between his opinion and the evidence I found there were far too many would haves could haves scenarios In the end, they proved annoying and distracting.On my own wish list, I would have like itif the photography plates were better produced The sometimes blurred and indefinite reproductions detracted from the prose in the end, I felt myself rushing through it, just to get past the images, which were becoming bothersome.Having stated all my detractions, I think the BBC production would be a lot of fun to listen to without being distracted by all the little nits built into the book I will admit to being a Shakespeare aficionada, and have probably spent far too much timethan is good for me perhaps poring over his literature, that this picture book had high standards set for it before it ever came into my hands and so for that I apologize to MacGregor for stepping in with pre conceived notions Still, a very worthwhile read I mean it It provides an interesting view of the 17th century that many would never have imagined There is nothing much to say The book is awesome It s written in a great way and I was completely immersed in the world Well, I m a Shakespeare real, so no winder I liked the book But it s very interesting and I learned things I didn t know about Elizabethan England through the everyday objects. This book was so engaging I read it in one train ride and was pleasantly surprised to learn how 16th century England was perceived on a nationally as well as internationally This perception is analysed through important objects retained from that period. When we read Shakespeare in high school and college, this would have made a wonderful companion piece A better understanding of the era, would have made the plays come alive For example, this is what MacGregor has to say about measuring time p 218 Before 1600 the great majority of clocks had just a single hour hand, and the divisions of the hour were judged approximately so what now looks to us like a conventional clock was in 1598 as for Richard II cutting edge technology It would be ano When we read Shakespeare in high school and college, this would have made a wonderful companion piece A better understanding of the era, would have made the plays come alive For example, this is what MacGregor has to say about measuring time p 218 Before 1600 the great majority of clocks had just a single hour hand, and the divisions of the hour were judged approximately so what now looks to us like a conventional clock was in 1598 as for Richard II cutting edge technology It would be another 50 years before minute hands became standard.Then he provides several examples from the plays that reference time As a first time reader of Shakespeare, that would have given me something to watch no pun intended for while reading.Similarly, I hadn t connected Shakespeare with the plague Apparently he was born during one outbreak and managed to survive several later ones During severe outbreaks, the king closed the theaters, making it difficult for those who wrote and acted to earn a living MacGregor points out that even though the plague was very much a part of every Londoner s life there s minimal reference to the plague in any plays from that time period Maybe Shakespeare and the other writers figured when people wanted to be entertained they didn t need to be reminded of their fears.These are 2 of the 20 topics objects addressed in this book Religion and politics obviously shaped the tone of the times, but I found thesubtle aspects such as clocks, caps, and eating utensils to be the most intriguing This book gave me a good, concrete feel for Shakespeare s age and how it may have been manifested in his plays Recommended "/>
  • Paperback
  • 336 pages
  • Shakespeare's Restless World: Portrait of an Era
  • Neil MacGregor
  • 05 March 2019
  • 014312594X