A rare woodcut offers an insight into the troubles and tragedies of Elizabethan Ireland. Read more
Ireland: Failures in the Present
A rare woodcut offers an insight into the troubles and tragedies of Elizabethan Ireland.
City Life, Urban Strife
Neil MacGregor explores life in Shakespeare's London through an apprentice's woollen cap.
New Science, Old Magic
A disc of black obsidian from Mexico reflects the Elizabethan fascination with astrology.
Toil and Trouble
A model ship hung in a church reveals the differences between Scottish and English witches
Treason and Plots
A tabloid history of Shakespeare's England told via contemporary accounts of murder plots.
Sex and the City
Neil MacGregor on how a delicate glass goblet reveals the twin seductions of Venice.
From London to Marrakech
Sunken gold from West Africa sheds light on England's complex relationship with the Moors.
Disguise and Deception
A pedlar's trunk reveals deception and religion, cross-dressing and travelling salesmen.
The Flag That Failed
The problems in creating a Great Britain are encapsulated in designs for a common flag.
A Time of Change, a Change of Time
A striking clock reveals the changing relationship Shakespeare's audiences had to time.
Plague and the Playhouse
Early 17th-century proclamations reveal the impact of the 1603 plague outbreak.
London Becomes Rome
Neil MacGregor surveys the triumphal arches created for James I's entry into London.
The Theatres of Cruelty
A human eyeball in a silver setting gives a striking insight into the theatre of cruelty.
Shakespeare Goes Global
How a folio of collected plays in 1623 began the creation of a global phenomenon.