Updated edition of Shakespeare's Sonnets, with an introduction by Stephen Orgel.
Octavo continues to provide digital access to rare and important literary works. Only 13 originals survive of Shakespeare's Sonnets, Never Before Imprinted, first published in London in 1609. This disc provides page-by-page views from the quarto held in the Grenville collection of The British Library. The 154 sonnets, plus an 11-page poem, "A Lover's Complaint," appear in the typeface of the day. The images are accompanied by a text commentary by Arthur Freeman, with notes on the binding and collation, provenance, and viewing tips. One continuous PDF holds it all, and Adobe Acrobat tabs must be used to maneuver through the document. While this arrangement makes individual word search and copy-and-paste possible, navigation is not without its challenges. A specific sonnet cannot be located quickly unless one enters its number into a simple search. And because the volume was rebound and thickened with extra sheets during Thomas Grenville's ownership, 42 of the 116 views are of blank pages. Academics and archivists may delight in such primary-source integrity; unwary researchers will be frustrated when they find themselves lost in the midst of the void. Sonnets can be purchased at a discount when bundled with Octavo's similar CD-ROMs of Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories and Tragedies and Poems. Bottom Line Recommended for scholars, archivists, collectors, and academic and special libraries that serve those patrons. For casual readers, existing publications, such as Helen Vendler's The Art of Shakespeare's Sonnets (1997), which includes facsimiles of the 1609 prints of each sonnet along with analysis, should suffice.-Corinne H. Smith, Ware, MA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.