About Recommended Books and Articles 

These books and essays contain some of the scholarship that I have found most useful in thinking about the sonnets. I have tried to pick work that is largely accessible to non-academic readers, though some of  the works are more academic in their language or argument than others. Two books in the list, Shakespeare' Sonnets by Dympna Callaghan and Shakespare's Sonnets by Paul Edmondson and Stanley Wells are, like my The World of Shakespeare's Sonnets, introductory works written for non-specialist as well as specialist readers.   Two other books, Stephen Booth's Shakespeare's Sonnets and Helen Vendler's The Art of Shakespeare's Sonnets provide interesting and readable glosses on individual sonnets.  My favorite edition of the sonnets is the one by Katherine Duncan-Jones, especially for its excellent introduction.  However, non-academic readers probably won't need and may be annoyed by its detailed annotations.  General reader editions, such as the ones published by Bantam or the Folger Shakespeare Library, may be more appropriate, and are less expensive.

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Choice Magazine

"The most realistically balanced, generally honest guide to these remarkable poems that this reviewer has encountered."  read more  

Jonathan Goldberg,
Emory University

"This is the book I would recommend to any novice and even to more experienced readers approaching the sonnets." read more

Nichole Lehman,
Chantilly High School

"This book will come in handy when I teach the sonnets." read more

Katherine Duncan-Jones, editor of the Arden Sonnets,
Oxford  University

"Matz proves himself to be a sharp and subtle analyst of individual Sonnets."
read more