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Shakespeare’s Forgotten Sonnets

18 June @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Shakespeare's Forgotten Sonnets

William Shakespeare’s Sonnets are among his most celebrated works but, unlike his plays, they seem to have been largely forgotten following their publication in 1609. A second edition appeared in 1640 but this reordered the poems, combined many of them together to make longer poems, added titles, and in certain cases altered their wording. And it was in this ‘reworked’ form that the vast majority of Shakespeare’s readers encountered his sonnets until Edmund Malone’s edition of 1780.

This talk will trace the publication history of Shakespeare’s sonnets from 1609 to 1780, paying particular attention to how the 1640 edition reworked them for a new audience, and how the sonnets were ‘rediscovered’ at the end of the 18th century.

Ian Gadd is a Professor of English Literature at Bath Spa University, where he’s worked since 2002. He teaches literature of the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, and has a particular research interest in the history of printing, publishing, and reading. Since 2015, he has also been Academic Director of the Global Academy of Liberal Arts (GALA), an international network of 17 universities in 13 countries founded by Bath Spa University. Ian was appointed to BRLSI’s Board in 2019 and is co-convenor of the Literature and Humanities group. He was elected Chair of the Board in October 2021.


18 June
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
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16-18 Queen Square
Bath, Bath & North East Somerset BA1 2HN United Kingdom
01225 312084
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