Hammersmith: Doves Press, 1909
The Doves Press was a private press established by Thomas Cobden-Sanderson and Emery Walker in 1900. Cobden-Sanderson and Walker saw the “book beautiful” as simple pages of legible roman type, uninhibited by extraneous ornamentation or illustration. All their publications used a single size of a single type, based on the types used in Venice in the 1470s by Nicolas Jenson and Jacobus Rubeus. Of their forty books printed between 1900 and 1916, seven were editions of Shakespeare; The Sonnets was their second of these, following Hamlet (also 1909). The text is printed in red and black. Adornment comprises four large capitals of between five lines and a page each, designed by calligrapher and type designer Edward Johnston. The text follows the 1609 quarto, with minimal corrections: “The intention throughout has been to present the text as the workmanship of the time of its production, and to presume as little to improve the lettering & the punctuation thereof, as the spelling or grammar” (colophon). This copy is one of fifteen printed on vellum. It was bound at the Doves Bindery.