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Shakespeare's Restless World: An Unexpected History in Twenty Objects (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 24. April 2014

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MacGregor is not a man for making airy generalisations about the past. He examines concrete evidence and like a Sherlock Holmes teases out of it more information than you would think possible to deduce (Peter Lewis Daily Mail)

Shakespeare's Restless World, filled with anecdotes and insights, eerie, funny, poignant and grotesque, is 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) -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch.


The acclaimed BBC Radio 4 series exploring the world of William Shakespeare through a selection of objects from his era, presented by British Museum director Neil MacGregor. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Audio CD.

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Format: Taschenbuch
Neil MacGregor (author of of A History of the World in 100 Objects fame) discusses in this book an object from Shakespeare's day, connecting it to the plays or the theatre at Shakespeare's time and also using it as a means to try to help the reader understand the society of the day.

Each chapter focuses on one object linked to an aspect of the plays - for example, a model ship leads us to the witches in Macbeth - and then MacGregor tells the reader of how the audience at that time would have reacted when witches were still believed to have the power of raising storms, causing shipwrecks etc.

In another chapter, he looks at The Tempest and a 'magical' mirror and then goes on to discuss how magic and science were intermingled ' at time when superstition was wide-spread. A woodcut leads to the one Irish character in Shakespeare's plays, a soldier in Henry V, and gives an opportunity for MacGregor to discuss the troubled relationship between England and Ireland during Elizabeth's reign. Every chapter, though short, is packed full of information.

Pictures of the objects are included, so the reader can relate better to them. So all in all it is not a bad book. Maybe because I have already read so much on Shakespeare and his time I got a little bit bored. So maybe this book is more for people who are trying for the first time to get a better understand of Shakespeare's plays. Then I can definitely recommend it. If you already know quite a bit, this is a nice refresher course.
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Von Andrea am 22. August 2014
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
After the somewhat unnecessary introduction, the text draws you into 15th/16th century life and leaves you thrilled, thoughtful and fascinated. Loved it!
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Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Dieses Buch ist ein Muss für alle, die sich mit Shakespeare beschäftigen wollen oder müssen. Auf gut verständliche Art wird hier das Zeitalter Elizabeth I lebendig dargestellt. Auch für Nicht-Shakespeare-Fans ein Genuss!
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x992a3fc0) von 5 Sternen 15 Rezensionen
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x99174984) von 5 Sternen A museum with armchairs 27. September 2013
Von Robert S. Hanenberg - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
When you go to a museum and you look an old object, you can read a brief label about it. But in an ideal museum you would be able to read an entire essay about how an object was used and what it meant in the context of the culture of its time.

You cannot do this in a museum, because you cannot read an essay while standing in front of a glass case. But the author of this book, Neil MacGregor, lets you know what it would be like if museums had armchairs. In a previous volume, "A History of the World in 100 Objects", he takes an object, say, a Korean roof tile 1,300 years old, and explains how a person of that period would have regarded it, what it meant in the context of its time.

He has done the same thing in "Shakespeare's World" with 20 objects from Shakespeare's time. An example is a silver medallion about 2½ inches in diameter, made in commemoration of Drake's circumnavigation of the earth in 1577-80, when Shakespeare was a teenager. In order to truly under this object, you have to know that Shakespeare lived when Europeans first began to understand the world in an entirely new way, a great round globe (one of his theaters was named "The Globe"), full of brave new worlds with strange and wondrous people in them. His plays are full of references to maps (Comedy of Errors), strange lands (The Tempest) and exotic foreigners (Othello, Shylock). To have lived in Shakespeare's time was to have begun to see the world in an entirely new way, just like for us the world changed when we saw images of the earth taken from space.

Another object is a communion cup. In order to understand this object you have to know that everyone was forced to drink from such cups in church and everyone had, by law, to go the church. It helps to know this when Claudius orders Hamlet to drink from a goblet, and when Gertrude refuses to obey him when he tells her not to.

Another object is a fork, an elegant and rare object lost by some rich person in the audience while watching a play. This signifies luxury, which is associated with Italy. This chapter contains information on Elizabethan foods, and explains what Falstaff's meal would have meant to the audience: "potatoes", rare and exotic, "kissing comfits", breath mints in a land of primitive dentistry, and "sea holly", an aphrodisiac.

The book helped me to better understand Shakespeare's world and his plays. I kept wondering, however, how the author had time to both run the British Museum, and also write such fascinating books.
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HASH(0x9a0b7a50) von 5 Sternen A wonderful and unexpected vew of the world of Shakespeare 5. Dezember 2012
Von sandra hines - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
This amazing history puts Shakespeare and his plays into the context of the life and times of the Elizabethan and Jacobean age. By taking simple objects, MacGregor expands the story of the object into its meaning and posistion in the lifestyle of the people. It also puts some of the quotes and references in Shakespeare's plays into context, making them so much more understandable and relevant.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x98b6dc3c) von 5 Sternen A beautiful book, filled with illustrations and luminous text 21. Februar 2013
Von Naomi L. - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
I ordered this book because I enjoyed the BBC's eponymous podcast series. This book is pretty much a word-for-word transcription of the series, but its lovely design and lavish illustrations make it worth the splurge. If you liked the podcast series, you'll treasure this book.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x98d90a08) von 5 Sternen Shakespeare's World through 20 objects 11. Januar 2013
Von Vivek Tejuja - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
I was never a fan of Shakespeare's works. I have never been. Either at school or later. Most of the time it was only the movies through which I discovered Shakespeare or through a play here and there, which I really wanted to read. Besides that I did not care much about the guy. However, after reading, "Shakespeare's Restless World" by Neil MacGregor, maybe I will read all his works after all. I might even reread some works just to understand more about the times he lived in and to put everything in context with the book I just finished reading.

"Shakespeare's Restless World" as the title suggests is all about the world and the times in which The Bard lived. The twist in the tale is that MacGregor talks of Shakespeare's times and worlds through twenty objects. At this stage, I must also mention that MacGregor is the director of The British Museum, so getting hold of these objects must have been pretty easy for him. Having said that, what worked most for me was the premise of the book. It is unique in its approach. It also at the same time cannot be categorized as a "history read" because though it is that in some parts, at others it is very different. It speaks to us about the times gone by, the objects and their meaning in those times and how Shakespeare finally has emerged to be a world-wide phenomenon.

The reason I loved this book is it is but obviously written differently and at the same time, it is not a boring read at all. It makes you want to know more. After all what could be the relation between a fork (not invented in England) and Shakespeare? What could be the connection between swords and battles and the plays as written by the man? To what extent was he influenced by his world and the objects around him? I also cannot stop gushing about the book. In fact, at a point, I also went back and reread my favourite parts.

The book is written in a superb manner. There are parts that are funny and parts that are not so. The objects picked are so unique and that is the major point of the book. The vivid description of the objects (along with a lot of pictures - so please do not read this on an E-reader) adds to the writing and how the influences came about. "Shakespeare's Restless World" is a unique read of how the socio-economic structure, the religious turmoil, the rampant diseases, sex even, lead to Shakespeare's plays and their writing and how influenced he was by the world around him. A must read for history and Shakespeare fans.
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HASH(0x98f7c1f8) von 5 Sternen Overall, an informative read 17. April 2013
Von Helen Simpson - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
The objects discussed in relation to Shakespeare's era, include a peddler's chest which a priest would have used to 'peddle' Catholicism around the country and a two pronged iron fork excavated from London's Rose Theatre. MacGreggor weaves a tale of 'everydayness' around the objects, bringing the late 1500's and early 1600's to life. The plague, world travel, the union between England and Scotland with the crowning of King James and the fact that of all of Shakespeare's plays only one Irish man is featured (Macmorris in Henry V).

For those readers with little time to read, each chapter is relatively short (four or five pages) and stands alone so you can read in short bursts. It's more academic than Bill Bryson's book on Shakespeare (although I have to say Bryson's book is just as informative) and you don't have to be a Shakespeare buff to find the information interesting. You just need an interest in history.
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