Failing eyesight and an increasing interest in Shakespeares sonnets led me to supplement my microscopically small-printed Complete Works of Shakspeare (sic) - undated, but belonged to my grandfather, so probably early 20th century at the latest - with a more modern copy of his Sonnets (Falcon Press, hand-cut (or rather torn!)1948). Neither copy was indexed, so I downloaded an alphabetical index, only to find that, while my original Shakspeare followed the index (beginning with Sonnet 1 'From fairest creatures we desire increase' , my newer one starts with Sonnet 1 'A woman's face with Nature's own hand painted'. Both have 154 sonnets and, I assume they are the same poems in a different order - I'm part way through adding the numbers in the new book to the index, and so far they have all been there, but does anyone know why the variation?
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/09/2006 06:22AM by marian2.
I'll look...I have one of those microprinted tomes somehwere, I'll take a look
If you google 'shakespeare sonnet sequence' you will have enough reading material to occupy you for hours! It's a recurring debate.
I rely on The Arden Shakespeare (1997): Katherine Duncan Jones is a well-respected Shakespeare scholar and the Introductoion to the book is nicely done and comprehensively convincing.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/11/2006 05:32AM by StephenFryer.
I daily read, and occasionaly post to, the newsgroup humanities.lit.authors.shakespeare, where this subject arises often. Lots of quarrels and snide remarks there, but the insults are usually of a high quality, so it is easy to forgive the continual backbiting. Anyway, Peter Farey did an extensive analysis on the matter, which those who do not easily nod off may find of interest:
Yeah, it shows up on Stephen's Google Search as well.