An Excellent Study,
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This review is from: Shakespeare's Sonnets (Oxford Shakespeare Topics) (Paperback)The CONTENTS of the book following the Preface:
1. The Early Publication of the Sonnets
2. The History and Emergence of the Sonnets as a Literary Form
3. The Sonnets in Relation to Shakespeare's Life
4. The Form of Shakespeare's Sonnets
5. The Artistry of Shakespeare's Sonnets
6. Concerns of the Sonnets
7. The Sonnets as Theatre
8. The Place of 'A Lover's Complaint'
9. The Later Publication of the Sonnets
10. The Critical Reputation of the Sonnets
11. The Sonnets and Later Writers
12. The Sonnets in Performance
The editors affirm that the Sonnets are a collection rather than a sequence -- they do not tell a story. Part of their wonder is their mystique: we do not know if they express attitudes or episodes from the poet's personal history, we do not understand the dedication or to whom it is addressed or indeed who devised it. We do not understand if their order is that of the poet who wished to see them published, or if their author wished them published at all. We will never know these things, nor do they matter. The Sonnets are a wonder of the world because of their art and their dramatics. As poems, as theatre, they are unique. This excellent book examines all aspects of the sonnets and their story, their history, their artistry. It is a book I shall return to again and again, for information, for pleasure.