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The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth, Volume 1   By: (1770-1850)

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Extract from the Conclusion of a Poem, composed in Anticipation of leaving School Written in very Early Youth An Evening Walk Lines written while Sailing in a Boat at Evening Remembrance of Collins Descriptive Sketches taken during a Pedestrian Tour among the Alps Guilt and Sorrow; or, Incidents upon Salisbury Plain Lines left upon a Seat in a Yew tree, which stands near the lake of Esthwaite, on a desolate part of the shore, commanding a beautiful prospect The Borderers The Reverie of Poor Susan 1798 A Night Piece We are Seven Anecdote for Fathers "A whirl blast from behind the hill" The Thorn Goody Blake and Harry Gill Her Eyes are Wild Simon Lee, the Old Huntsman Lines written in Early Spring To my Sister Expostulation and Reply The Tables Turned The Complaint of a Forsaken Indian Woman The Last of the Flock The Idiot Boy The Old Cumberland Beggar Animal Tranquillity and Decay



During the decade between 1879 and 1889 I was engaged in a detailed study of Wordsworth; and, amongst other things, edited a library edition of his Poetical Works in eight volumes, including the "Prefaces" and "Appendices" to his Poems, and a few others of his Prose Works, such as his 'Description of the Scenery of the Lakes in the North of England'. This edition was published by Mr. Paterson, Edinburgh, at intervals between the years 1882 and 1886: and it was followed in 1889 by a 'Life of Wordsworth', in three volumes, which was a continuation of the previous eight.

The present edition is not a reproduction of those eleven volumes of 1882 9. It is true that to much of the editorial material included in the latter as well as in my 'Memorials of Coleorton', and in 'The English Lake District as interpreted in the Poems of Wordsworth' I can add little that is new; but the whole of what was included in these books has been revised, corrected, and readjusted in this one [1]. 'Errata' in the previous volumes are corrected: several thousand new notes have been added, many of the old ones are entirely recast: the changes of text, introduced by Wordsworth into the successive editions of his Poems, have all been revised; new readings derived from many MS. sources have been added: while the chronological order of the Poems has, in several instances, been changed, in the light of fresh evidence.

The distinctive features of my edition of 1882 6 were stated in the Preface to its first volume. So far as these features remain in the present edition, they may be repeated as follows:

FIRST, the Poems are arranged in chronological order of composition, not of publication. In all the collective editions issued by Wordsworth during his lifetime, the arrangement of his poems in artificial groups, based on their leading characteristics a plan first adopted in 1815 was adhered to; although he not unfrequently transferred a poem from one group to another. Here they are printed, with one or two exceptions to be afterwards explained, in the order in which they were written.

SECOND, the changes of text made by Wordsworth in the successive editions of his Poems, are given in footnotes, with the dates of the changes.

THIRD, suggested changes, written by the Poet on a copy of the stereotyped edition of 1836 7 long kept at Rydal Mount, and bought, after Mrs. Wordsworth's death, at the sale of a portion of the Library at the Mount are given in footnotes.

FOURTH, the Notes dictated by Wordsworth to Miss Isabella Fenwick a dear friend of the Rydal Mount household, and a woman of remarkable character and faculty which tell the story of his Poems, and the circumstances under which each was written, are printed in full... Continue reading book >>

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