Abstract

This essay argues for the necessity of a book history of the 1850 first edition of William Wordsworth's poem The Prelude, which is currently a liber non gratus: a marginalized, unwelcome book. Editing of and scholarship on The Prelude since 1926 have promoted earlier, manuscript versions at the expense of the 1850 edition, despite accepting it as a "fact of literary history". Thus, attention to the material life of the 1850 poem with Victorian readers — such as in criticism and biographies of Wordsworth, and the giving of books as gifts — recovers its significance to our conceptions of nineteenth-century literary history.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1933-7418
Print ISSN
1559-2936
Pages
pp. 63-91
Launched on MUSE
2011-04-28
Open Access
No
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