Early Poems and Fragments, 1785–1797
Edited by Carol Landon, Jared Curtis
This volume is made up of work from the beginning of Wordsworth's career, when he was a Hawkshead schoolboy, until the end of his time at Racedown in mid-1797. Like other volumes in The Cornell Wordsworth series, this book is based on detailed study of the relevant manuscripts. Each poem or fragment is accompanied by a headnote that explains that item's provenance among the manuscripts and examines its literary or biographical background. Most of the work in this volume was never published in Wordsworth's lifetime. (Early works that appear in other volumes of The Cornell Wordsworth have been omitted, but all other work from Wordsworth's early manuscripts, whether a finished piece or a mere jotting, has been included.)
The editors draw heavily on seventeen notebooks or other manuscripts. Fifteen of them are presented in photographic copies; all are described fully in bibliographical terms. Although some writing from the notebooks has appeared in print since the poet's death in 1850, the Landon and Curtis edition supersedes earlier versions in thoroughness and overall reliability. The editors present a plausible new organization of the Vale of Esthwaite materials, an improved sequential versions of the two dirges written at Cambridge, and a substantially enlarged text of the Wordsworth-Wrangham "Imitation of Juvenal." The incomplete "Greyhound Ballad" is one of several fragments appearing in print for the first time.
For more information, please visit the Cornell Wordsworth series website at http://CornellWordsworth.BookPub.net