Worlds Elsewhere: Journeys Around Shakespeare's Globe

“A true travel book, of the best kind”   New York Times

“At once travelogue, history, literary analysis and love song”  Wall Street Journal

“Extraordinarily exhilarating”  New Statesman

Anti-apartheid activist, Bollywood screenwriter, Nazi pin-up, hero of the Wild West: this is Shakespeare as you have never seen him before. No other writer’s work has been performed, translated, adapted and altered in such a remarkable variety of cultures and languages. But what is it about a man from Warwickshire who never once set foot outside England that has made him at home in so many places?

Travelling across four continents, six countries and 400 years, Worlds Elsewhere: Journeys Around Shakespeare’s Globe is a journey rich in insight and surprise. We enter the air-conditioned vault deep beneath Capitol Hill where the world’s largest collection of First Folios is stored; discover the shadowy history of Joseph Goebbels’s obsession with Shakespeare; and uncover the true story behind the scuffed edition in which Nelson Mandela and fellow Robben Island prisoners inscribed their names.

Worlds Elsewhere was longlisted for the 2016 Hessell-Tiltman history prize and given the Society of Authors Michael Meyer award. 

Praise for Worlds Elsewhere

“An extraordinarily exhilarating book, like no other Shakespeare criticism you have ever read. [Its] cross-cultural insights into Shakespeare are remarkable … illustrated by and interwoven with many human stories”
Margaret Drabble, New Statesman


“Wonderfully imaginative … a true travel book, of the best kind”
Simon Winchester, New York Times Book Review


“Beautifully written … at once travelogue, history, literary analysis and love song”
Jonathan Bate, Wall Street Journal


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“Strikingly original, engagingly idiosyncratic … a substantial new contribution to Shakespeare scholarship”
Anthony Holden, Observer


“There were very few pages on which I didn’t learn something new or revelatory. A must-read for anyone interested in Shakespeare’s impact on people and politics around the globe”
James Shapiro, author of 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare


“A joy, full to bursting with surprising incidents, stories and insight”
Dominic Dromgoole, Sunday Times


“Surely the book of the year for Shakespearians and many others”
Ray Olson, Booklist starred review


“Immensely well-informed and highly readable. A revelatory journey of cultural exploration”
Professor Stanley Wells, General Editor of the Oxford and Penguin Shakespeares


“A fine book, lively in curiosity and itself inviting questions on almost every page”
Allan Massie, Literary Review


“Beautifully assured … Dickson has the marvellous ability to keep from superimposing his own ideas about Shakespeare on the stories he unravels”
Supriya Nair, Mint (India)


“Dickson is meticulous … informative and entertaining”
Helen Cooper, Guardian


“Brilliantly original. Absolutely engaging, witty and irresistible. What’s most remarkable: he’s said something new about Shakespeare”
Michael Pye, author of The Edge of the World


“Eye-opening and engrossing”
Nick Curtis, Mail on Sunday


“It’s always refreshing when someone blows the dust off Shakespeare studies … I was moved and excited”
Wendy Smith, American Scholar


“Never ceases to dazzle and seduce … Brings to mind the young Patrick Leigh Fermor”
Professor René Weis, University College London


“Reveals the Bard in a new light … rousing and insightful”
Vikas Datta, Times of India


“Terrific … proves again that Shakespeare, whose themes of journeying and exile are prevalent and relevant, is not only for all time but has been performed everywhere”
Niall MacMonagle, Irish Independent, critics’ pick of 2015


“A truly original book about Shakespeare: one that explores the dramatist’s global reach with tenacity, devotion and an exhilarating spirit of adventure”
Michael Billington, Guardian theatre critic


“Shows us the many ways in which Shakespeare repeatedly thwarts geographical, linguistic, and political barriers – how little, in historical terms, he belongs to any single culture or nation”
Morten Høi Jensen, New Republic


“A tour de force by any standards, a fascinating blend of travelogue and Shakespearean research that reads like a detective story”
David Crystal, author of The Stories of English

Buy Worlds Elsewhere

The book is published in the UK by Bodley Head/Vintage, and in the US by Henry Holt/Macmillan. It's available as an ebook and also as an audiobook, read by yours truly.