The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.2335  Thursday, 14 December 2000

From:           John Briggs <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Thursday, 14 Dec 2000 09:50:32 -0000
Subject: 11.2312 Re: Shakespeare's Publications
Comment:        RE: SHK 11.2312 Re: Shakespeare's Publications

Shakespeare's name doesn't appear on the title page of either Venus and
Adonis or Lucrece.  His name does, however, sign the dedications to both
publications.  The Sonnets as a publication is technically anonymous as
there is no author statement on the title page and the publisher's
initials sign the dedication, but as the title is "Shake-speares
Sonnets" (a bit like "Gore Vidal's Caligula", and possibly for the same
reason...) this is somewhat irrelevant!  For "A lover's complaint" in
the same volume there is a separate title page which reads: A lovers
complaint / by / William Shake-speare.  Except that the lover who is
doing the complaining is a female voice...  Katherine Duncan-Jones chews
over these issues in her Arden 3 edition of the Sonnets.  Someone
(presumably Shakespeare) certainly seems to be playing games with the
concept of authorship!  Duncan-Jones also points out that "male on male"
sonnets (to use her felicitous phrase) are actually very unusual, but
perhaps Karen Peterson-Kranz (as our resident expert on other sonnets)
will be able to help us with that question?

John Briggs

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