155 treats in store

16th April 2012

Yes, I know there are only 154 sonnets by William Shakespeare (not counting those in the plays). But for our new project we have also filmed a reading by a very distinguished actor of the Dedication that was included in the 1609 quarto edition. Here is today’s short press release about this exciting release that features filmed performances by many wonderful actors of each and every poem, plus texts, interviews, notes and a whole lot more:


Faber and Faber, Touch Press, Illuminations and The Arden Shakespeare are delighted to announce that they are in the final stages of producing a spectacular edition of Shakespeare’s Sonnets for the Apple iPad. The title features specially filmed performances of all 154 sonnets by a stellar cast that includes Fiona Shaw, Sir Patrick Stewart and David Tennant. It also features the complete Arden notes, providing unsurpassed commentary on the poems.

This digital edition follows Touch Press and Faber’s iPad app The Waste Land that presents T. S. Eliot’s great poem in an innovative and widely praised interactive format.

Notes on the partners:

Arden and Bloomsbury

The Arden Shakespeare series was created by the British publishing firm of Methuen and the Arden first series was launched in 1899 with Edward Dowden’s edition of Hamlet. The second series began in the 1950s. The third series began in 1995 and is now near completion. The General Editors are Richard Proudfoot, Ann Thompson, David Scott Kastan and H. R. Woudhuysen. The Arden Shakespeare is an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. Bloomsbury Publishing is a leading independent publishing house with companies in London, New York, Doha, India and Sydney.

Faber and Faber

Founded in 1929 by Geoffrey Faber, Faber and Faber remains one of the UK’s leading independent publishing houses. Faber publishes fiction, non-fiction, and children’s books alongside its garlanded lists of poetry, drama, music and film. Faber has been the publisher of twelve Nobel Laureates in Literature, among them Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter, Seamus Heaney, Orhan Pamuk and Mario Vargas Llosa, and six Booker Prize-winners. Under its innovative Faber Finds imprint it has made rich list of out-of-print titles available once again. In 2011 Faber and Faber was named Ingram Independent Publisher of the Year at the Book Industry Awards and Trade Publisher of the Year at the Independent Publishing Awards.


Illuminations is an award-winning independent producer and publisher of media about the arts and performance. The company has produced several Shakespeare performance films, including the RSC’s Hamlet (2009) and Macbeth (2010), directed by Rupert Goold. Illuminations is currently producing Gregory Doran’s film of Julius Caesar in partnership with the RSC for showing on BBC Television in the summer.

Touch Press

Touch Press is an independent publisher of interactive books founded by Theodore Gray and Max Whitby in 2010. The company’s launch title – The Elements – has now sold over 280,000 copies worldwide.  Touch Press has subsequently published eight further titles, seven of which, like The Elements, have been App of the Week on the iTunes Store. Solar System for iPad and The Waste Land were both produced in partnership with Faber and Faber. Touch Press collaborated with Björk on her ground breaking Biophilia app-suite project.  Most recently the company published  Barefoot World Atlas, a magic interactive globe for children optimised for the retina display of the new iPad. This title was App of the Week in the the UK and US during the week Apple’s new tablet shipped.

Image: detail from the title page of 1609 quarto edition of Shakespeare’s Sonnets, as printed by G. Eld for T. T.


  1. Gail_M says:

    This sounds amazing, and I’m so excited about it – I can’t wait to see the final product!

    I don’t have an iPad, though, so I can only hope that this will be available for the iPhone too and, at some stage, for other devices. Failing that, an iPad will be at the top of my Xmas list 😉

  2. JM says:

    I dont have any i-devices – hoping for a bogstandard DVD release please!!

    • Chris says:

      I don’t have any i-devices either (life’s too short and I don’t need any) but a DVD would suit me just fine as well. I’m still hoping for MAAN to appear on DVD. I live in hope.

  3. Karen says:

    How about an Android version? Please! For all our Apple avoiders!

  4. Jackie says:

    I’m seconding Karen’s plea for an Android version.

  5. John Wyver says:

    Thanks for the comments – no promises about an Android version, but your enthusiasm is duly noted.

  6. Alex B. says:

    Great news! Ca’t wait to see how it’ll work on my iPad. I hope it’ll be available in the US iTunes store.

  7. Pauline. Howard says:

    Looking forward to getting this I have an iPad can’t wait to see how it works on iPad and David Tennant reading Shakespeare. Sonnets will be pretty awesome

  8. Just to announce that our brand new DVD, Shakespeare’s Sonnets, has now been released by us and is available for purchase through our online shop, Moviemail or Amazon. The price is a snip at £14.99, including VAT.

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