Shakespeare's sonnets, the greatest of Elizabethan sonnet sequences, were first published in an unauthorized version in 1609. William Shakespeare was then forty-five years old, a successful playwright, a country gentleman, and an affluent member of the Globe, the most important theatrical enterprise in London.
Although the sonnets are among the finest poems in the English language, questions about them have preoccupied scholars for several hundred years. This edition portrays the sonnets in the order and sequence thought to be traditional.
This edition of the sonnets also includes imaginative, flowing illustrations of Charles Robinson. One of the most popular of Edwardian artists, he was acclaimed for his highly original coloring and flights of fantasy. His illustrations add an unusual dimension to the sonnets, which are unequalled in their poetic power, exploration of intimate human relationships, and sensitivity to tragedy of human aspirations.