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Home :: Archive :: 2008 :: September ::
The Material Text: Shakespeare's Sonnets
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0536  Wednesday, 10 September 2008

From:       Cynthia Franks <
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Date:       Monday, 08 Sep 2008 20:48:39 -0400
Subject:    How Did Shakespeare's Sonnets Appear Among Other Books?

I'm working on a dramatic project that involves Shakespeare's Sonnets, and 
although I know a lot about the Sonnets and various Sonnet theories, I know very 
little about the book itself. What I find myself wanting know is, if I walked 
into a bookshop in 1609 what would I see? Why would I buy Shakespeare's Sonnets? 
Who did buy the book? What did the book look like? How big was it? How heavy? 
Would it be appropriate for a gift?

I own a facsimile copy of the First Folio, but I've not come across a similar 
version of the Sonnets. The only facsimile version I've found is Stephen 
Booth's, but it does little to satisfy my tactile curiosity about the book. 
Also, it isn't reproduced as the book actually was like my folio facsimile. Is 
there any place in New York City were you may be able to view an original?

Suggestions as to how I can expand my knowledge about this aspect of  the 
Sonnets would be appreciated. Paintings, even if they are details, of what 
bookshops may have looked like in 1609 would be  helpful. Anything that will 
give me a sense of how the book physically compared to those around it would be 
helpful.

Cynthia Franks

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