The Afterlife of Shakespeare's Sonnets

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9781107170650: The Afterlife of Shakespeare's Sonnets
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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.

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Book Description:

This is a unique study of how readers have engaged with Shakespeare's Sonnets over four centuries. Jane Kingsley-Smith reveals the fascinating cultural history of individual Sonnets and explores their belated entry into the Shakespeare canon. The work will appeal to specialists in Shakespeare studies, English poetry and Renaissance literature.

About the Author:

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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