Shakespeare: Staging the World provides a unique and fascinating insight into the early modern world, seen through the lens of Shakespeare's plays.

The 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.

Published to accompany a major exhibition at the British museum (19 July –25 November 2012), part of the Cultural Olympiad and the World Shakespeare Festival.

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