The blockbuster New York Times bestseller and the companion volume to the wildly popular radio series
Neil MacGregor has blazed an unusual path to international renown. As director of the British Museum, he organized an exhibit that aimed to tell the history of humanity through the stories of one hundred objects made, used, venerated, or discarded by man. The exhibit and its accompanying BBC radio series broke broadcasting records and MacGregor's book became a bestselling sensation on both sides of the Atlantic and a huge Christmas hit, with more than 100,000 copies in print in the United States alone.
Examining items from a chopping tool from Africa's Olduvai Gorge to the credit card, A History of the World in 100 Objects is an engrossing and profoundly original work of history that will captivate readers for many years to come.
The New York Times bestselling author of A History of the World in 100 Objects brings the world of Shakespeare and the Tudor era of Elizabeth I into focus
We feel we know Shakespeare's characters. Think of Hamlet, trapped in indecision, or Macbeth's merciless and ultimately self-destructive ambition, or the Machiavellian rise and short reign of Richard III. They are so vital, so alive and real that we can see aspects of ourselves in them. But their world was at once familiar and nothing like our own.
In this brilliant work of historical reconstruction Neil MacGregor and his team at the British Museum, working together in a landmark collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the BBC, bring us twenty objects that capture the essence of Shakespeare's universe. A perfect complement to A History of the World in 100 Objects, MacGregor's landmark New York Times bestseller, Shakespeare's Restless World highlights a turning point in human history.
This magnificent book, illustrated throughout with more than one hundred vibrant color photographs, invites you to travel back in history and to touch, smell, and feel what life was like at that pivotal moment, when humankind leaped into the modern age. This was an exhilarating time when discoveries in science and technology altered the parameters of the known world. Sir Francis Drake's circumnavigation map allows us to imagine the age of exploration from the point of view of one of its most ambitious navigators. A bishop's cup captures the most sacred and divisive act in Christendom.
With A History of the World in 100 Objects, MacGregor pioneered a new way of telling history through artifacts. Now he trains his eye closer to home, on a subject that has mesmerized him since childhood, and lets us see Shakespeare and his world in a whole new light.
Quand les hommes se sont-ils mis à porter des bijoux ou jouer de la musique ? Quand les vaches ont-elles été domestiquées et pourquoi donnons-nous leur lait à nos enfants ? Où sont nées les premières villes et à quoi devons-nous leur triomphe ? Qui a développé les mathématiques - ou a inventé la monnaie ? L'Histoire de l'humanité est une histoire d'invention et d'innovation : nous avons continuellement créé, utilisé ou admiré de nouveaux objets. Avec ce livre révolutionnaire, Neil MacGregor dresse un portrait inattendu de l'évolution humaine. Il démontre le pouvoir qu'ont les choses de nous connecter avec une incomparable immédiateté à des hommes très éloignés dans l'espace et dans le temps, et de permettre à toute l'humanité d'avoir une voix dans notre histoire commune. Une colonne de pierre nous raconte comment un grand empereur indien invitait son peuple à la tolérance, une pièce de huit espagnole nous montre la naissance de la monnaie unique, un service à thé du début de l'ère victorienne nous fait voir le poids d'un empire... Du hachoir des gorges d'Olduvai en Afrique - l'un des objets les plus anciens produits par la main de l'homme - à la lampe à énergie solaire ou la carte de crédit, Une Histoire du Monde en 100 Objets nous fait voir l'histoire comme un kaléidoscope - changeante, interconnectée, constamment surprenante.
Neil MacGregor est considéré comme l'un des plus célèbres historiens de l'art au monde. Il a dirigé la National Gallery à Londres (1987-2002) puis le British Museum jusqu'en 2015. En 2010, il crée, choisissant des objets conservés dans les vastes collections du British Museum, une série radiophonique avec la BBC pour raconter l'aventure de l'humanité à travers les histoires de cent objets fabriqués, utilisés, vénérés ou mis au rebut par l'homme. Cette série radiophonique de la BBC a battu des records de diffusion, de même que ce livre qui en est issu.
Based on the BBC Radio 4 / British Museum series
This book takes a dramatically original approach to the history of humanity, using objects which previous civilisations have left behind them, often accidentally, as prisms through which we can explore past worlds and the lives of the men and women who lived in them. The book's range is enormous. It begins with one of the earliest surviving objects made by human hands, a chopping tool from the Olduvai gorge in Africa, and ends with an object from the 21st century which represents the world we live in today. Neil MacGregor's aim is not simply to describe these remarkable things, but to show us their significance - how a stone pillar tells us about a great Indian emperor preaching tolerance to his people, how Spanish pieces of eight tell us about the beginning of a global currency or how an early Victorian tea-set tells us about the impact of empire. Each chapter immerses the reader in a past civilisation accompanied by an exceptionally well-informed guide. Seen through this lens, history is a kaleidoscope - shifting, interconnected, constantly surprising, and shaping our world today in ways that most of us have never imagined. An intellectual and visual feast, it is one of the most engrossing and unusual history books published in years.
From Neil MacGregor, the acclaimed creator of A History of the World in 100 Objects and the Director of the British Museum, comes a unique, enthralling exploration of the age of William Shakespeare to accompany a new BBC Radio 4 series.Shakespeare lived through a pivotal period in human history. With the discovery of the New World, the horizons of Old Europe were expanding dramatically - and long-cherished certainties were crumbling. Life was exhilaratingly uncertain. What were Londoners thinking when they went to see Shakespeare's plays? What was it like living in their world? Here Neil MacGregor looks at twenty objects from Shakespeare's life and times, and uncovers the fascinating stories behind them. The objects themselves range from the grand (such as the hoard of gold coins that make up the Salcombe treasure) to the very humble, like the battered trunk and worn garments of an unknown pedlar. But in each case, they allow MacGregor to explore issues as diverse as piracy and Islam, Catholicism and disguise. MacGregor weaves the histories of objects into the words of Shakespeare's plays themselves to suggest to us where his ideas about religion, national identity, the history of England and the world, human nature itself, may have come from. The result is a fresh and thrilling evocation of Shakespeare's world.
From Neil MacGregor, the author of A History of the World in 100 Objects, this is a view of Germany like no other
Today, as the dominant economic force in Europe, Germany looms as large as ever over world affairs. But how much do we really understand about it, and how do its people understand themselves?In this enthralling new book, Neil MacGregor guides us through the complex history, culture and identity of this most mercurial of countries by telling the stories behind 30 objects in his uniquely magical way. Beginning with the fifteenth-century invention of the Gutenberg press, MacGregor ventures beyond the usual sticking point of the Second World War to get to the heart of a nation that has given us Luther and Hitler, the Beetle and Brecht - and remade our world again and again. This is a view of Germany like no other.Neil MacGregor has been Director of the British Museum since August 2002. He was Director of the National Gallery in London from 1987 to 2002. His celebrated books include A History of the World in 100 Objects, now translated into more than a dozen languages and one of the top-selling titles ever published by Penguin Press, and Shakespeare's Restless World.