Inspired by an international Shakespeare festival held in London in the lead-up to the 2012 Olympics, journalist Dickson decides to explore just what has made Shakespeare and his plays such an international sensation. Over the next few years he travels to Germany, the USA, India, South Africa, and China to explore the history and various iterations of Shakespeare and his works in these widely varying locales. Dickson explores questions like how much the plays remain Shakespeare's when translated into other (contemporary) languages and contexts, whether the wide dissemination of the plays is just a result of colonialism rather than global appeal, and the different political uses for the Bard and his plays, among others. Part travelogue, part history, and part critical exploration Shakespeare's plays in multiple cultural contexts, the book is a fascinating exploration of just why so many people continue to read and perform plays in times and places far-flung from the Bard's origins rendered in beautifully evocative prose. Recommended for Shakespeare fans who enjoy a dose of armchair travel.