Worlds Elsewhere: Journeys Around Shakespeare's Globe (Hardcover)

Journeys Around Shakespeare's Globe

By Andrew Dickson

Henry Holt & Company, 9780805097344, 512pp.

Publication Date: April 5, 2016

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Description

A book about how Shakespeare became fascinated with the world, and how the world became fascinated with Shakespeare

Ranging ambitiously across four continents and four hundred years, Worlds Elsewhere is an eye-opening account of how Shakespeare went global. Seizing inspiration from the playwright's own fascination with travel, foreignness, and distant worlds worlds Shakespeare never himself explored Andrew Dickson takes us on an extraordinary journey: from Hamlet performed by English actors tramping through the Baltic states in the early sixteen hundreds to the skyscrapers of twenty-first-century Beijing and Shanghai, where Shashibiya survived Mao's Cultural Revolution to become a revered Chinese author.

En route, Dickson traces Nazi Germany's strange love affair with, and attempted nationalization of, the Bard, and delves deep into the history of Bollywood, where Shakespearean stories helped give birth to Indian cinema. In Johannesburg, we discover how Shakespeare was enlisted in the fight to end apartheid. In nineteenth-century California, we encounter shoestring performances of Richard III and Othello in the dusty mining camps and saloon bars of the Gold Rush.

No other writer's work has been performed, translated, adapted, and altered in such a remarkable variety of cultures and languages. Both a cultural history and a literary travelogue, Worlds Elsewhere is an attempt to understand how Shakespeare has become the international phenomenon he is and why.



About the Author

Andrew Dickson was raised in Yorkshire, and studied at Cambridge. He is currently an honorary fellow at Birkbeck, University of London, a former visiting fellow at the University of Warwick, and has contributed to The New Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare. Formerly an arts editor at the Guardian in London, he continues to write regularly for the paper and has also written for The New Yorker online and The New Statesman. He makes regular appearances on BBC radio and TV as a presenter and reviewer.
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