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All the Sonnets of Shakespeare
  • Coming soon
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Expected online publication date: September 2020
  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online ISBN: 9781108780841
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Book description

How can we look afresh at Shakespeare as a writer of sonnets? What new light might they shed on his career, personality, and sexuality? Shakespeare wrote sonnets for at least thirty years, not only for himself, for professional reasons, and for those he loved, but also in his plays, as prologues, as epilogues, and as part of their poetic texture. This ground-breaking book assembles all of Shakespeare's sonnets in their probable order of composition. An inspiring introduction debunks long-established biographical myths about Shakespeare's sonnets and proposes new insights about how and why he wrote them. Explanatory notes and modern English paraphrases of every poem and dramatic extract illuminate the meaning of these sometimes challenging but always deeply rewarding witnesses to Shakespeare's inner life and professional expertise. Beautifully printed and elegantly presented, this volume will be treasured by students, scholars, and every Shakespeare enthusiast.

Reviews

'What a fresh and lovely idea! I've been speaking the sonnets for most of my life. They are such wonderful training for an actor, and the notes and paraphrases in this book are just what we all need to guide us through them.'

Judi Dench

‘Paul Edmondson and Stanley Wells have done something daring, controversial, and richly illuminating.  To the 154 poems collected in the celebrated volume of Shakespeare's Sonnets they have conjoined the sonnets that appear in the plays – such as the famous lines shared by Romeo and Juliet.  To these they have added a number of passages from the plays that are in effect close relations to the conventional sonnet form.  The result is to break down the walls and set Shakespeare's famous sequence in a much expanded field of poetic making.  But that is not all: jettisoning the order in which the sonnets first appeared in print, Edmondson and Wells arrange them in what they take to be their chronological order of composition.  The result is something radical and unsettling.  To make these deeply familiar poems seem unexpected and new is a significant achievement.'

Stephen Greenblatt - Author of Tyrant: Shakespeare on Politics and The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve

‘A marvellously refreshing new look at Shakespeare's devotion to the sonnet form, expanding our understanding of the published sonnets by adding those he included in the plays. The single sentence description of each sonnet is also immensely useful and helpful to even the most seasoned reader.'

Gregory Doran - Royal Shakespeare Company, Artistic Director

‘This is a book of clarity and love which shadows the mind in time of Shakespeare the poet and in so doing brings us closer than ever before to his own awareness of the reach of his genius.'

Carol Ann Duffy

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