The Power of Revision

W.H. AudenThe study of manuscripts reveals many things about an author’s work, but the revisions the author made on the rough draft can be especially telling. William Wordsworth took the art of revision very seriously, spending over 50 years perfecting his longest poem, The Prelude (1799-1850), fragments of which can be seen in letters, notebooks and other manuscripts in the holdings of the Wordsworth Trust. Revisions and omission in later drafts reveal Wordsworth’s changing emphases and political views. Continue reading