A Shakespeare Motley

An Illustrated Assortment


A beautifully produced and illustrated miscellany of fascinating facts, definitions and quotations relating to the world’s most famous playwright.


ISBN: 9780500023020 Category:

Shakespeare Birthplace Trust


A Shakespearean Motley is a delightful cabinet of Shakespearean curiosities, arranged in a straightforward alphabetical order, that will inform, enthuse, intrigue and amuse anyone who would like to know more about the richly varied and versatile life and work of the world’s best-known author. Drawing unusual connections, this ingenious guide will show you what Hamlet‘s Ophelia has to do with The Tempest, Twelfth Night and Ships; how a stage direction speaks to Elizabethan treatment of bears. With entries ranging from Apothecary to Zephyr, Bee to Yorick, this succinct but stimulating book is full of captivating details illuminating all corners of Shakespeare’s world.

Unusually and uniquely for a miscellany on this subject, the text is illustrated throughout with images taken exclusively from the unparalleled archives of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. Readers will quickly gain a vivid, authentic sense of Shakespearean times, from the very real dangers of drowning to the fascination of falconry; from the elegance of eglantine to the resonances of ring-giving.

At once immediately accessible yet also studded with nuggets of expert insight and knowledge, this is a wonderful window on the ideas and influences that may have informed the work – a perfect gift for those who would like to get closer to deciphering the elusive but inexhaustibly intriguing Shakespeare.

Additional information

Weight 412 g
Dimensions 14.6 x 21.7 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 3 September 2020
Number of pages 160
Format Hardback
Dimensions 14.6 x 21.7 cm
Weight 412 g


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The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-upon-Avon is the global centre for learning about and experiencing the works, life and times of the world's best-known writer. Through the five historic Shakespeare family homes, internationally designated museum collections and award-winning learning programmes, the Trust provides imaginative, immersive and interactive opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds, attracting approximately three-quarters of a million visitors each year.