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Cultural value in twenty-first-century England: the case of Shakespeare

Cultural value in twenty-first-century England: the case of Shakespeare

McLuskie, Kathleen, author; Rumbold, Kate Louise, 1978- author

This text deals with Shakespeare's role in contemporary culture. It looks in detail at the way that Shakespeare's plays inform modern ideas of cultural value and the work required to make Shakespeare part of modern culture

Hardback, Book. English.
Published Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2014
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Available: Newton Park

  • Newton Park – One available in Main Collection 822.33 MAC/L

    Barcode Shelfmark Loan type Status
    00338358 Main Collection 822.33 MAC/L Standard Available


Statement of responsibility: Kate McLuskie and Kate Rumbold
ISBN: 0719089840, 9780719089848
Intended audience: Specialized.
Note: Includes bibliographical references and index.
Physical Description: viii, 264 pages ; 22 cm
Subject: English literature Social aspects Great Britain.; Shakespeare, William; Great Britain Civilization 21st century.; Literature.; Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616 Influence.


  1. Introduction: culture, value, Shakespeare
  2. 1. Advocacy and analysis
  3. 2. The value of value
  4. 3. Value and Shakespeare
  5. 4. Culture and value
  6. 5. Making ‘Shakespeare’culture
  7. 6. Government and the values of culture
  8. 7. Value in Shakespeare institutions
  9. 8. Branding Shakespeare
  10. Afterword: the continuity of cultural value
  11. Bibliography
  12. Index

Author note

Kate McLuskie is former director of the University of Birmingham Shakespeare Institute

Kate Rumbold is Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Birmingham


This book examines the unstable relationship between culture and value in the new century and the way that each of these concepts is applied to Shakespeare. It uniquely in uses social policy, anthropology and economics, as well as close readings of Shakespeare's plays, to show how a text from the past becomes part of contemporary culture, and how Shakespeare's writing informs modern ideas of cultural value. It goes beyond the twentieth-century cultural studies debates that argued the case for and against Shakespeare’s status, to show how he can exist both as a free artistic resource and as a branded product in the cultural marketplace. It sets out the contemporary consensus about cultural value and examines the intellectual problems that complicate the concepts of ‘value’ and ‘culture’. The way that those concepts are played out in Shakespeare’s writing and reproduction is addressed in detail, along with the role of government agencies and institutions in providing a structure for his works.

This book will appeal not only to students and academics studying Shakespeare, but also to educators, policy-makers and anyone interested in contemporary cultural dilemmas.