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Guide to Shakespeare’s Sonnets

Our favourite editions of Shakespeare's sonnets - the perfect gift for your Valentine!

If you're looking for a gift for your loved one this Valentine’s Day,  one of our sonnet collections could be the perfect present. We have many different editions which means everyone is covered: perhaps you just want the romantic poems, maybe an edition which will look beautiful on your shelf, or even one you can carry around in your pocket. Here is a breakdown of some of our favourites.

Penguin Classics Shakespeare Inspired Edition

This paperback version contains all 154 sonnets and “A Lover’s Complaint”, followed by a useful commentary explaining the meanings, wider contexts and useful links to other Shakespeare references. This edition would be great for anyone who wants to read and understand the sonnets without too much additional introductory information. However, the best element of this edition is that it features our exclusive Shakespeare Inspired cover designed from a gentlemen’s nightcap the Birthplace Trust holds in our collections. This edition is only available in our shops, making it an ideal unique gift from the SBT.

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Penguin Classics Shakespeare Inspired Edition

Shakespeare Inspired Pocket Edition

In addition to the regular Shakespeare Inspired edition, we have recently developed a brand new pocket edition of the sonnets. Featuring a new, striking purple version of the Shakespeare Inspired cover, this fabric bound hard-back is petite enough for you to carry around, so you can read the Bard whenever you want. As it contains only the sonnets (no introductions or additions), you get right into the poetry. This unique edition is already proving very popular with our customers and makes a really beautiful gift.

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Penguin Edition Shakespeare's Sonnets

Shakespeare Bookshop Edition

Our Bookshop Edition of the Sonnets is a unique, classy book edited and introduced by Stanley Wells. Leather bound, with gold edged pages and featuring a gold embossed title and logo, it is the probably the most elegant book in our shop. It also features “The Shakespeare Bookshop: Stratford-Upon-Avon” in gold lettering on the front cover to remind you where you bought this striking book. The edition also contains an index of the first lines of the sonnets, making it easy to find your favourites. It is a more high-end gift, but definitely worth it for such a beautifully presented, totally unique edition of Shakespeare’s sonnets which would look charming on any bookshelf.

Shakespeare's Sonnets
Shakespeare's Sonnets

The Oxford Edition of “The Complete Sonnets and Poems”

This edition presents all 154 sonnets as well as Shakespeare’s longer poems including “Venus and Adonis” and “A Lover’s Complaint”. It contains an in-depth introduction which explores sources, themes and contexts of the poems. For each of the sonnets, there is also analysis and definitions of difficult terms on every page to ensure the reader has a clear understanding of the meaning. This edition is certainly aimed for more academic use, and would be valuable for someone who wishes to the study Shakespeare’s poetry in detail, rather than anyone who wants some light reading!

Sonnets & Poems
The Complete Sonnets and Poems

Collector’s Library Edition

The Collector’s Library series contains a selection of Shakespeare’s works and has been very popular with our customers. The sonnets book has a short introduction, an index of first lines, and all 154 sonnets presented one per page, making it clear, concise and very much focused on the actual poems. At £7.99, these hard-back, pocket sized editions are great value, beautifully presented, and if you choose to collect the whole series, will look very striking on your bookshelf.

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Collector's Library The Sonnets

Shakespeare’s Love Sonnets

Hard-back, with colourful illustrations by Caitlin Keegan, this edition is a bright and eye-catching collection of 30 of Shakespeare’s most romantic sonnets. Each of the sonnets included is accompanied by a vibrant design, and with no introductory material, it means you can get straight into reading some of the Bard’s most amorous poems. This version is ideal for those who only want a selection Shakespeare’s sonnets, and with love as the focus, it makes the perfect gift for Valentine’s Day.

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Shakespeare's Love Sonnets

Want to see more? Visit our online shop to view more of our books, plays and sonnets.

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