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Home :: Archive :: 2008 :: September ::
The Material Text: Shakespeare's Sonnets
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0547  Saturday, 13 September 2008

From:       Walter Cannon <
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Date:       Wednesday, 10 Sep 2008 09:08:38 -0500
Subject: 19.0536 The Material Text: Shakespeare's Sonnets
Comment:    RE: SHK 19.0536 The Material Text: Shakespeare's Sonnets

 >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.

Scolar Press (20 Main St., Menston, Yorkshire, England) issued a facsimile of 
the 1609 Sonnets in 1970. I'm not sure if it's still in print, but perhaps you 
can find one through one of the many book-finding services.

Walter Cannon

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