The Official Clinton Heylin
So Long As Men Can Breathe
The Untold Story of Shakespeare’s Sonnets
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June 2009: So Long As Men Can Breathe: The Untold Story of Shakespeare’s Sonnets (Perseus [US]).
NOT AVAILABLE PE PRE ORDER ONLY Extracts
A BOOKLEG, OR NOT A BOOKLEG?
THAT IS THE QUESTION...
This is the story of a ‘bookleg’.
The most famous ‘bookleg’ of them all: Shake-speares Sonnets.
What, you may well ask, is a ‘bookleg’?
Well, it is a book that is also a bootleg, an unauthorized collection of previously unavailable material which has been published, usually surreptitiously, without the author’s permission.
In the case of The Sonnets, the centuries-old presumption, that it was another example of the ‘divers stolen and surreptitious copies’ that plagued Shakespeare’s professional life, has recently been under assault.
In the past twenty-five years, academic opinion has shifted towards viewing the 1609 text as, in some way, approved. But, as I aim to show, once a bookleg, always a bookleg….