The Elizabethan age was a tumultuous time, when long-cherished certainties were crumbling and life was exhilaratingly uncertain. Shakespeare's Restless World uncovers the extraordinary stories behind twenty objects from the period to re-create an age at once distant and yet surprisingly familiar. From knife crime to belief in witches, religious battles to the horizons of the New World, Neil MacGregor brings the past to life in a fresh, unexpected portrait of a dangerous and dynamic era.
'Fascinating ... filled with anecdotes and insights, eerie, funny, poignant and grotesque ... another brilliant vindication of MacGregor's understanding of physical objects to enter deep into our fore-fathers' mental and spiritual world' Christopher Hart, Sunday Times
'Enjoyable and intriguing, an absorbing evocation ... he draws us into the minds of the Elizabethan and Jacobean audience. Next time you see one of the plays reading this book will make those first audiences seem real to you' Peter Lewis, Daily Mail
'How gripping are these tales from a lost world. And what a world Shakespeare's was - adventurous, melancholy, rich and plagued by beggary, courteous and quarrelsome, sceptical and credulous' Daily Telegraph
'Elegant, informative ... provides stimulating insights' Anne Somerset, Spectator