Date: Fri 28-May-1999

Date: Fri 28-May-1999

Publication: Ant

Author: LIZAM

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Cornell Adds Rare Wordsworth Works To Its Collection

ITHACA, N.Y. (AP) -- Cornell University has acquired a rare set of William

Wordsworth's Poetical Works , annotated with the poet's largely unpublished

handwritten revisions.

Cornell will display the five-volume set during a public reception on May 26

in Kroch Library's Rare and Manuscript Collections.

Cornell purchased the unique books last December at a Sotheby's auction in

London for approximately $60,000, said Katherine Reagan, Cornell's rare books


"When I was notified last fall that the set was to be auctioned at Sotheby's,

I knew it was one of the most important Wordsworth items to be offered in

several decades," Reagan said May 21.

Wordsworth (1770-1850) was one of England's most celebrated poets. Cornell's

Wordsworth collection is second only to that at Dove Cottage, the Wordsworth

museum and archive in England.

Cornell English Professor Stephen M. Parrish is a noted Wordsworth scholar and

general editor of The Cornell Wordsworth , a complete edition of all of

Wordsworth's poetry, with all the variant readings. There are currently 18

volumes in print and the final three, plus an index, are in advanced stages of


The Poetical Works volumes, which were published in 1827, were in the hands of

a private collector who had not made the significant annotations available to

Wordsworth scholars. Access to the unpublished revisions in the books are

essential to the completion of Parrish's work, Reagan said.

Like many authors, Wordsworth used this five-volume set to sketch ideas for

revising several of his poems, presumably for inclusion in subsequent

editions. These annotated copies will offer valuable insight into the literary

imagination of the poet and a record of the development of his work, Reagan