Lyrical Ballads, and Other Poems, 1797-1800

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Cornell University Press, 1992 - 829 頁
Lyrical Ballads, published as a single volume in 1798, then in 1800 as a two-volume set including new poems, is widely regarded as having inaugurated the Romantic Revolution in poetry. The present edition provides the first comprehensive textual history - from earliest manuscript to final lifetime printing - of the poems published in Lyrical Ballads, and of contemporaneous short poems by Wordsworth. For those poems originally published in 1800, this edition is the first to be based on the printer's manuscript approved by Wordsworth.
A richly detailed editors' introduction examines the conception of the Lyrical Ballads, the chronology of composition of its contents, the roles of the two authors, Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, their complex dealings with publishers and printers, and the reception of the volumes. Drawing on 78 different manuscripts, the edition provides 113 photographic facsimiles accompanied by transcriptions on facing pages. It offers an extensive apparatus incorporating all variant readings and nonverbal variants, as well as appendixes including variants in Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner and the other poems that he contributed to the collection.
Among the distinctive features of this edition are the Mathew elegies, three texts for "Nutting," and a chronology of the work of the fertile Goslar period in which The Prelude was begun. A dozen poems are printed here for the first time, or are printed in previously unpublished versions, and hundreds of fresh readings are supplied, many of them from the largely unpublished early manuscripts of "Michael."
Presenting a full record of three of the most important years in Wordsworth's career, this long-awaited addition to the Cornell Wordsworth will be an essential resource for scholars and students of English romanticism.

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Introduction
3
Editorial Procedure
35
Lyrical Ballads 1798
43
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關於作者 (1992)

William Wordsworth, 1770 - 1850 Born April 7, 1770 in the "Lake Country" of northern England, the great English poet William Wordsworth, son of a prominent aristocrat, was orphaned at an early age. He attended boarding school in Hawkesmead and, after an undistinguished career at Cambridge, he spent a year in revolutionary France, before returning to England a penniless radical. Wordsworth later received honorary degrees from the University of Durham and Oxford University. He is best known for his work "The Prelude", which was published after his death. For five years, Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy lived very frugally in rural England, where they met Samuel Taylor Coleridge. "Lyrical Ballads", published anonymously in 1798, led off with Coleridge's "Ancient Mariner" and ended with Wordsworth's "Tintern Abbey". Between these two masterworks are at least a dozen other great poems. "Lyrical Ballads" is often said to mark the beginning of the English romantic revolution. A second, augmented edition in 1800 was prefaced by one of the great manifestos in world literature, an essay that called for natural language in poetry, subject matter dealing with ordinary men and women, a return to emotions and imagination, and a conception of poetry as pleasure and prophecy. Together with Robert Southey, these three were known as the "Lake Poets", the elite of English poetry. Before he was 30, Wordsworth had begun the supreme work of his life, The Prelude, an immensely long autobiographical work on "The Growth of the Poet's Mind," a theme unprecedented in poetry. Although first finished in 1805, The Prelude was never published in Wordsworth's lifetime. Between 1797 and 1807, he produced a steady stream of magnificent works, but little of his work over the last four decades of his life matters greatly. "The Excursion", a poem of epic length, was considered by Hazlitt and Keats to be among the wonders of the age. After "Lyrical Ballads", Wordsworth turned to his own life, his spiritual and poetical development, as his major theme. More than anyone else, he dealt with mysterious affinities between nature and humanity. Poems like the "Ode on the Intimations of Immortality" have a mystical power quite independent of any particular creed, and simple lyrics like "The Solitary Reaper" produced amazingly powerful effects with the simplest materials. Wordsworth also revived the sonnet and is one of the greatest masters of that form. Wordsworth is one of the giants of English poetry and criticism, his work ranging from the almost childishly simple to the philosophically profound. Wordsworth married Mary Hutchinson in 1802 and in 1813, obtained a sinecure as distributor of stamps for Westmoreland. At this stage of his life, Wordsworth's political beliefs had strayed from liberal to staunchly conservative. His last works were published around 1835, a few trickled in as the years went on, but the bulk of his writing had slowed. In 1842 he was awarded a government pension and in 1843 became the Poet Laureate of England, after the post was vacated by his friend Coleridge. Wordsworth wrote over 523 sonnets in the course of his lifetime. Wordsworth died at Rydal Mount on April 23, 1850. He is buried in Grasme Curchyard. He was 80 years old.

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