This book is the companion to the British Museum's exhibition, Shakespeare: Staging the World. The exhibition is not at all what I was expecting - it attempts to explain the influences that made Shakespeare the playwright he was. The exhibition is fascinating, bringing a great deal of scholarship and some wonderful objects to give us a better understanding of the 1500/1600s.
Well, what about the book? It is a really nice volume, solidly made and stuffed with pictures of the objects discussed. It is the sort of book that e-readers can't compete with at the moment because they can't do the pictures of Venetian goblets and maps of London and gold coins from Africa.
It reads really well, it does remind me of listening to Neil MacGregor on Radio 4 speaking about A History of the World in 100 Objects
but I enjoyed that, so it works well for me.
If you are interested in Shakespeare and the reign of Elizabeth I then I think this will give you something to think about and may be give you a different perspective. It is straightforward reading, something you can dip in to or read from beginning to end and it hides it scholarship up its sleeve so I'm sure you will learn something new and the quotes are from Shakespeare.
'For God's sake let us sit upon the ground and tell sad stories of the death of kings'