Date: Fri 28-May-1999
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Wordsworth's Poetical Works , annotated with the poet's largely unpublished
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 Access to the unpublished revisions in the books are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