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Worlds Elsewhere: Journeys Around Shakespeare's Globe

Worlds Elsewhere: Journeys Around Shakespeare's Globe

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

Ranging ambitiously across four continents and 400 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 1600s to the skyscrapers of 21st-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 19th-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.

Details
Author: Andrew Dickson
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 512
Size: 6.5 x 1.8 x 9.5 inches 

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