Item Details

Lyrical Ballads, with Other Poems. In Two Volumes. By W. Wordsworth.

London: Printed for T. N. Longman & O.Rees by Biggs & Co., 1800. Second edition of Lyrical Ballads, the first complete edition, being the second & best edition of Volume I & the first edition of Volume II; the first time the two volumes were issued together & the first appearance of Wordsworth's celebrated Preface. Printing & The Mind of Man 256. Hayward 202 (note). The second edition comprises all of the poems in the first edition of Volume I as issued in 1798 together with one additional poem ("Love"), Wordsworth's Preface, & an entirely new second volume with forty-one new poems. The present set has the following points: in Volume I, leaf [a]3 is cancelled, with line 1 recto reading "The First Volume"; leaves I3-4 are uncancelled; page 137 has "been" in line 9 & to in line 13; page 196 reads "agency" (instead of "agony") in line 14; in Volume II, leaves O1-2 & P2 are uncancelled; page 64 reads "Oft had I" in line 1 & "wide Moor" in line 6; page 83 has a comma after "last days" in line 6; page 92 reads "He" in line 2; page 129, line 11, has "when they please" normally but deterioratingly spread; O1-2 are uncancelled (p. 210 has ten lines, omitting fifteen lines of "Michael"), as well as the errata leaf P2 which had three corrections rather than twenty-seven. Ashley 8:6-9. Cornell/Healey 6-11. Printing and the Mind of Man 256. Wise 5. Tinker 2330-1. The importance of Wordsworth's Preface cannot be overestimated; in the words of Kenneth Johnston, Wordsworth's latest biographer, it is arguably the most influential document of literary theory in English. Considered conceited in its day, Wordsworth's Preface expressed the poet's re-evaluation of the nature & appropriate objects of poetry in light of his own experience. "Wordsworth was motivated by the Poet's duty to renew his entire culture, promulgating a theory of the creative imagination's role in improving human society ... in terms of a theory of poetics: metrics, diction, and style." - The Hidden Wordsworth (Norton, 1998), pp. 738-739. Believing that the incidents of common life could provide inspiration & interest for a new kind of poetry & a new sensibility, Wordsworth stated most memorably that "all good poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings; ... Poems to which any value can be attached, were never produced on any variety of subjects but by a man who being possessed of more than usual organic sensibility had also thought long and deeply.... Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings; it takes its origin from emotions recollected in tranquility; the emotion is contemplated till by a species of reaction the tranquility gradually disappears, and an emotion, similar to that which was before the object of contemplation, is gradually produced, and does itself actually exist in the mind" The R. W. Chapman-Abel Berland copy, with contemporary inscription and letter from E. H. Keasbury on the flyleaves, covers very slightly worn, otherwise an exceptionally fine unsophisticated copy. 2 volumes, 12mo, contemporary diced russia gilt.

Price: $17,500.00

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