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Look Inside The Afterlife of Shakespeare's Sonnets

The Afterlife of Shakespeare's Sonnets


  • Publication planned for: August 2019
  • availability: Not yet published - available from September 2019
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107170650

£ 75.00

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About the Authors
  • Why did no one read Sonnet 18 for over one hundred years? What traumatic memories did Sonnet 111 conjure up for Charles Dickens? Which Sonnet did Wilfred Owen find particularly offensive on the WW1 battlefront? What kind of love does Sonnet 116 celebrate and why? Filling a surprising gap in Shakespeare studies, this book offers a challenging new reception history of the Sonnets and explores their belated entry into the Shakespeare canon. Jane Kingsley-Smith reveals the fascinating cultural history of individual Sonnets, identifying those which were particularly influential and exploring why they rose to prominence. This is a highly original study which argues that we should redirect our attention away from the story that the Sonnets tell as a sequence, to the fascinating afterlife of individual Shakespeare Sonnets.

    • Examines the scholarly editions and anthologies through which the Sonnets were presented to the world, as well as the poetry, prose fiction and drama which they inspired
    • Challenges the division of the Sonnets between those directed to a man and those directed to a woman, opening up questions of their meaning in terms of gender, sexuality and race
    • Argues that Shakespeare's cultural status was achieved at the expense of his poems, encouraging readers to consider how the poetry fits into the construction of the Shakespeare icon
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    Product details

    • Publication planned for: August 2019
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107170650
    • length: 294 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 160 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.61kg
    • contains: 7 b/w illus.
    • availability: Not yet published - available from September 2019
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: why Shakespeare's Sonnets need an afterlife
    1. Loved when they alteration find, 1598–1622
    2. Annals of all-wasting time, 1623–1708
    3. One thing to my purpose nothing, 1709–1816
    4. As with your shadow I with these did play, 1817–1900
    5. A waste of shame, 1901–1997.

  • Author

    Jane Kingsley-Smith, Roehampton University, London
    Jane Kingsley-Smith is a Reader at the Roehampton University, London. She is author of Shakespeare's Drama of Exile (2003) and Cupid in Early Modern Literature and Culture (Cambridge, 2010). Dr Kingsley-Smith has a Ph.D. from the Shakespeare Institute, Stratford-upon-Avon and is a regular lecturer at Shakespeare's Globe.

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