This is the kind of “news” I will miss each day now that The Writer’s Almanac will be ending its run as a radio/podcast.
On this date in 1609 publisher Thomas Thorpe made an entry in the Stationer’s Register that said:
Entred for his copie under the handes of master Wilson and master Lownes Wardenes a booke called Shakespeares sonnettes
Soon after, Shakespeare’s sonnets were published. There were no copyright laws during Shakespeare’s time and these may have been published without Shakespeare’s consent. The manuscript is full of errors and appears to be incomplete, so some scholars think that it may be an early draft.
Thomas Thorpe himself had an unsavory reputation and was rumored to hang around scriveners—people who could read and write and hired out their services—looking for the opportunity to steal manuscripts. Regardless of how this edition came to print, we’re lucky that it did; had it not, it’s likely that only two of Shakespeare’s sonnets would survive today.
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O no, it is an ever-fixèd mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wand’ring bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
True love outlasts time and love conquers all. Oh, were it so!