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A masterly app...As accessible as it is scholarly, it’s an extraordinary achievement, that brings the sonnets bracingly to life and definitively sets the bar for the future of digital reading.'
– Robert Collins, London Sunday Times

The Sonnets presents William Shakespeare’s immortal collection of love poems in an interactive digital edition that allows you to explore, appreciate and understand this great work of literature as never before.

All 154 sonnets are performed to camera by a star-studded cast including Sir Patrick Stewart (Star Trek, X-Men, Royal Shakespeare Company), David Tennant (Dr Who, Hamlet), Kim Cattrall (Sex and the City), Fiona Shaw (The Waste Land, Harry Potter), Stephen Fry (The Hobbit) and Dominic West (The Wire). These performances – all specially filmed for the app – are synchronised to the text, which highlights line by line as each sonnet is spoken.

The performance videos, running over two and a half hours, are just the beginning. Also included are the complete Notes and Introduction from the Arden Shakespeare, offering unsurpassed scholarly commentary and insight. Touch a mysterious line or difficult word in any of the poems and the corresponding Arden Note highlights to provide comprehensive explanation. An alternative commentary on every sonnet comes from poet and musician Don Paterson, whose humorous and accessible style complements the academic rigour of the Arden Notes.

Features include:

• Beautiful filmed performances of all 154 sonnets by an incredible cast of Shakespearian actors and experts
• The complete Arden edition text of The Sonnets plus A Lover’s Complaint
• The complete Arden Shakespeare notes and introduction fully integrated
• New commentary on The Sonnets by Don Paterson
• Facility to add your own notes on any sonnet
• High resolution facsimile of the original 1609 Quarto showing Shakespeare’s Sonnets as originally published
• Forty interviews with scholars and experts discussing the meaning of The Sonnets and their author
• Share-a-Sonnet allows you to send a sonnet to friends by email, Twitter or Facebook
• Second generation interface based on the acclaimed Faber / Touch Press literary app The Waste Land
• AirPlay enabled allowing the performances to be streamed full screen to AppleTV

The Sonnets are published by Touch Press, the people behind the best-selling iPad titles The Elements and The Waste Land. The Sonnets was produced and published in partnership with Faber and Faber, Illuminations and the Arden Shakespeare.

What's New

Version 1.0.7

Minor bug fixes and improvements

Ratings and Reviews

Stunning all-purpose Sonnet tool


If the sonnets are of any interest to you (and they should be) this gem is a wonderful first resource: a combination of video/audio performances synced to the onscreen text, historical and literary commentary (also linked to the text, with copious references to other works, as well as to other sonnets-linked, of course!), a favorites list, a space for my notes, and the kicker, a Quarto, also linked and cross referenced! This is my first stop when I undertake the journey of a new sonnet. A slick, attractive, intuitive and well thought out interface makes it a breeze to use, with nearly all its many features available no matter where you are in the app. Great design and content make this a no brainier for anyone needing an accessible introduction, or a deeper understanding of, these often overlooked masterworks.

A masterpiece

Ruby Suzy

This app is so enthralling, I spent my first evening with it simply selecting an actor and a sonnet and listening, just listening and following the text. Every reading was heartfelt and moving. In these fresh interpretations, in a delicious variety of voices, it is easy to understand why Shakespeare's Sonnets are immortal. I fell in love all over again with the poetry and with the sheer beauty of the English language. You will too.

The elegantly integrated commentaries are fascinating and informative. To anyone intimidated or put off by Shakespeare, I heartily recommend Don Paterson's analyses of each sonnet: candid, witty and spot on.

Bravo. There is much that grinds a person down in this day and age. This project makes me not only glad to have an iPad, it renews my faith in the human spirit.


Tad Davis

Not much else to say but Wow. Not only do we have the complete text of the sonnets. Not only do we have the full Arden introduction and notes by the formidable Katharine Duncan Jones. Not only do we have wonderful readings of every single one of the sonnets, on video, by some of the finest actors of our time (Patrick Stewart, Simon Callow, Cicely Berry, Dominic West, Fiona Shaw). Not only do we have on-screen commentary by notables like the aforesaid Duncan Jones and James Shapiro, Ben Crystal, and others. But we have all this in a well-designed and easily navigable app. So - just Wow. A labor of love for all concerned, with us as the beneficiaries.


Touch Press Inc
1.5 GB
Requires iOS 10.0 or later. Compatible with iPad.
Age Rating
Rated 12+ for the following:
Infrequent/Mild Profanity or Crude Humor
Infrequent/Mild Sexual Content and Nudity
© TouchPress Ltd, 2017


  • Family Sharing

    With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.

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