Wednesday, January 6, 2016

232. William Shakespeare's Sonnet 66

In December I received a copy of Sonnet 66, published by Lupus in Geldermalsen. The booklet contains William Shakespeare's sonnet 66 (version 1609) with three Dutch translations made in 1888, 1993 and 1997. The book was printed for a joint publication by the members of the Dutch private press society that celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2014.

Sonnet 66 (Lupus, 2015)
Charles Ricketts - him again - published two editions of Shakespeare's sonnets. The first edition appeared in November 1899. Each sonnet was printed on a separate page. The text was set in the Vale type.

Sonnet 66 in Shakespeare's Sonnets (Vale Press, 1899)
The text was 'seen through the press' by Thomas Sturge Moore, after Ricketts himself had edited the text of the 1609 edition. He altered many words, correcting errors, but also amending the text to his own likes and according to the Kelmscott Press edition of Shakespeare's poems (1893). Sturge Moore would edit the sonnets twice for the Vale Press.

In April 1900 the first volumes of the Vale Shakespeare edition were published, and initially the sonnets were not to be included. However, to please the subscribers who in the course of three years saw a series of Shakespeare volumes bound in buckram grow to over a metre, it was decided to print and bind the sonnets uniformly.

Sonnet 66 in Shakespeare's Sonnets (1903)
In this edition there were three sonnets to a page. The spelling was modernized, the use of capitals avoided. After Sturge Moore had edited the text, both Ricketts and Charles Holmes (the manager of the Vale Press) revised it. The text was printed in the Avon that was specially designed for the Vale Shakespeare edition. The book appeared in April 1903.

1866 Charles Ricketts 2016

In 2016 this blog will celebrate the 150th anniversary of Charles Ricketts's birth on 2 October 1866.
Contributions are most welcome.