In my humble opinion, if a book has Neil Macgregor's name is on the cover I know it is going to be worth reading and 'Shakespeare's Restless World' is no exception. A beautifully product, it is brimming with double, whole or half-page illustrations.
The focus of the book is the opening-up of the world during the late Tudor period and how these voyages and consequential discoveries touched the psyche of the Bard and his contemporaries.
MacGregor takes objects such as a brass-handled iron fork, unearthed during excavations at the Rose Theatre on London's South Bank, to explore what sort of experience the Elizabethan playgoer would have, including what he/she would get to eat with the fork.
Other objects include Sir Francis Drake's Circumnavigation Medal; an apprentice's cap; a Venetian goblet; a Plague Proclamation; a peddler's trunk; a striking musical clock; an eye relic etc etc. Rather a random collection of small and perhaps insignificant things, one may think, but each left a mighty mark.
Each object has its own chapter, usually only a few pages so this will not take long to read. However - read one chapter and you will spend the rest of the evening thinking and dreaming.