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Shakespeare's Sonnets (Yale Nota Bene) Paperback – July 11, 2000
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"The engaging commentary―with its wit, energy, and sane conviction―makes a plea for a reading of the sonnets that values meanings which may not be intellectually convenient or the basis of a unified interpretation. For purists, the Quarto text is printed parallel to the modernized text."―Library Journal (on an earlier edition)
"This edition of the sonnets is a heroic enterprise. . . . [Booth’s] annotation does far more than any previous edition to show the fantastically rich way that Shakespeare exploits the verbal resources of his culture. . . . No serious reader of the sonnets will want to do without Booth’s edition."—C. L. Barber, New York Review of Books (on an earlier edition)
"Booth’s edition, like Shakespeare’s sonnets, is something of a miracle. His extensive commentary, like the poems it describes, is a dazzling commixture of intricate detail, multiplicity, bombast, bawdiness, suppleness, and grandeur. . . . [It] will enlarge and alter its reader’s experience—of the sonnets, of the plays, and of other texts as well."—Carol Thomas Neely, Modern Philology (on an earlier edition)
"May well become a standard, incorporating as it does in one volume much of what is needed for a serious study of the sonnets. . . . Anyone from advanced undergraduate to scholarly specialist will probably make this book one of his first references on matters concerning the sonnets of Shakespeare."―Choice (on an earlier edition)
"Undoubtedly, this edition constitutes a landmark in Shakespearean criticism. . . . [It] is a work of first-rate importance, hopefully a precursor of a long-needed revolution in our understanding of reading Shakespeare."―G. F. Waller, Dalhousie Review (on an earlier edition)
"Refreshingly different, Professor Booth's book reduces the usual questions about biography, dating, and ordering the poems to six pages of an appendix, while the four hundred pages of notes continue the exciting amplification of possibilities in reading that he began in his well-received An Essay on Shakespeare's Sonnets. . . . There is little question that the reader will return to the poems with greater sensitivity to their possibilities, to echoes, to patterns that make them richer than before."—Shakespeare Studies (on an earlier edition)
Winner of the ninth annual James Russell Lowell Prize given by the Modern Language Association (MLA)
Winner of the 1978 Explicator Literary Foundation Award
"The book seems to me to be indispensable to the serious student of Shakespeare's Sonnets, as well as being a repository of relevant information and sound critical sense for 'the common reader' who wants to deepen his understanding and enjoyment of these remarkable―and often baffling―poems."―L. C. Knights (on an earlier edition)
About the Author
- Publisher : Yale University Press; Text is Free of Markings edition (July 11, 2000)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 608 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0300085060
- ISBN-13 : 978-0300085068
- Lexile measure : NP0L
- Item Weight : 1.31 pounds
- Dimensions : 5 x 1.7 x 7.7 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,146,534 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
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Top reviews from the United States
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About the AmazonClassics edition you cannot find better ones for books written in English and without drawings. They have the useful X-Ray, impeccable formatting, modern typography and clean of misspellings. Other advantage is that it has not studies by intellectuals, prefaces nor introductions, only a biography of few words at the end about the author. The book is as pure as if it had been written this morning; the only defect is the reader, as I have not enough knowledge of poetry to notice, beyond evident rhyme and alliteration, the poetic structure donned by Shakespeare.
When you go to the Table of Contents, you will see that the edition begins with the following commentary: the Editor's Preface; Shakespeare's Sonnets; Reading Shakespeare's Language: The Sonnets; Shakespeare's Life; An Introduction to the Text.
Then you will see the sonnets themselves: Text of the Poems With Commentary. Each sonnet can be accessed individually by an active link, and each has links throughout the text with annotations. I like being able to just click on a phrase or word as I am reading in order to access extremely helpful commentary.
After the individual sonnets, you will see the following listed: Two Sonnets from The Passionate Pilgrim; Longer Notes; Textual Notes; Appendix of Intertextual Material; Shakespeare's Sonnets: A Modern Perspective by Lynne Magnusson; Further Reading; Index of Illustrations (there are many, and each has an active link which will take you to it); Index of First Lines.
I looked at many versions on Amazon before making my selection. True, there are others which cost just one or two dollars, but they lack access to each individual sonnet and/or textual annotations. They don't have all the other interesting material included here. If you want to read the sonnets on your Kindle, you really can't do better than The Folger Shakespeare.
This is a good edition, very readable and accessible. My only complaint is I wish it included more of Shakespeare’s poetry. Including A Lover’s Complaint (which was including in the original publication) would have been nice, and including Shakespeare’s other poetry would have been great. Still, good edition.
The book of Sonnets is a great addition to any Shakespeare collection. Beautifully written by the master.
Top reviews from other countries
As a young man I was rather snooty about analyzing poetry. Shouldn't it just zap you and amaze you? Doesn't analysis rather spoil it? But this edition gives the lie to such naivety. The more you understand, the more you enjoy.
The paperback version is also excellent, and on this, the rather dubious cover including a skull, is very pertinent to the recurring themes, of reproducing, ageing and death.
Ríos de tinta se han vertido sobre las figuras que se encuentran detrás de los misteriosos "fair youth" y "dark lady", se ha querido ver en ellos a personalidades de la época como William Herbet, a quien dedicó alguna de sus primeras obras, o a Henrey Wriothesley como el joven misterioso y como la dama terrible a Emilia Lanier o a Mary Fitton, pero como otros muchos detalles de la vida del autor, existen más teorías que certezas.
La edición que nos ocupa hoy es de reducido tamaño, el justo para albergar un soneto en cada página, con una primorosa presentación: tapa dura, con un punto de lectura en escarlata y filigrana dorada en su papel de biblia. Perfecto para contener poemas. La única pega que se le puede encontrar es lo suave del papel y la falta de anotaciones, pero para ello es más recomendable adquirir una edición como las de Arden.