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20 June 2017


‘Shakespeare’s sequence of 154 sonnets is mostly addressed by the poet to a man, while some of poems are to a mistress. They were first published in 1609, but in a later edition of 1640 many of the masculine pronouns were changed to feminine … It is of course impossible to guess an author’s private life from reading his fictional works, but it is noteworthy that some of the greatest love poetry written in English is apparently by a man to a man.’ This is Sonnet 116 (not in fact 119) in the 1609 edition.

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