Shakespeare: staging the world


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  • Published to accompany a major exhibition at the British museum, which was part of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad and the World Shakespeare festival.

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


    Jonathan Bate is Provost of Worcester College Oxford and formerly Professor of Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature at the University of Warwick. He is an internationally acclaimed author and editor, with titles including Soul of Age: the Life, Mind and Works of William Shakespeare.

    Dora Thornton is curator of Renaissance Europe at the British Museum and author of many titles, including The Scholar in His Study: Ownership and Experience in Renaissance Italy.

  • Product code: cmcf28245
    Exhibition: Shakespeare
    Authors: Jonathan Bate and Dora Thornton
    ISBN: PB: 9780714128245. HB: 9780714128283.
    Format: Paperback with flaps or Hardback
    Number of pages: 272 pages
    Size: 250mm x 220mm
    llustrations: 250 colour
    Weight: 1.99kg
    Standard UK delivery: 5 working days. Overseas times may vary

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Superb…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.
Brian Sewell, Evening Standard

One of those books where you can't turn the pages fast enough.
Richard Dorment, 'Summer Reading Special', The Daily Telegraph

The objects themselves are extraordinary.
Caroline McGinn, Time Out

The book is full of illuminating wonders.
Jerry Brotton, BBC History Magazine

Stands by itself as a scholarly and enormously enjoyable portrait of an age and of the world as known to its greatest dramatist.
2012 Books of the Year column, The Spectator magazine

This beautifully illustrated historical treasure trove breathes new life into the conception of characters such as Hamlet. Jonathan Bate and Dora Thornton have produced a fascinating and scholarly study of the writer and his rich range of influences.
Editor's choice, The Good Book Guide

This book gets into the very fabric of both literature and life.
Michael Kerrigan, Saturday Scotsman

Sumptuous, rigorously-researched and beautifully illustrated.
Dr. Claire Cochrane, Theatre scholar of the University of Worcester

A fine catalogue, [one] which increases the value of an outstanding, not-to-be missed exhibition.
The Lady magazine

Not only is the exhibition winning acclaim from the critics, but its catalogue has proved an impressive work of Shakespeare scholarship in itself.
The Daily Telegraph

Bate’s and Thornton’s thematic approach and apt choice of objects often brings a fresh perspective to bear on the familiar.
The Burlington Magazine

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