Different Kinds of Revision

The stage of process that determines the textual status of the manuscript also significantly affects the kinds of revision to be found upon the page.

Since MS B is a first fair copy text, inter-related acts come into play, with Wordsworth revising and redrafting the copied text, but also with Dorothy and Mary making revisions on the page. The nature of the manuscript means that there are multiple returns to it, over time, by different people with different kinds of revision in different hands.

These are the different times of revision present in MS B:



Revision to the copy text as part of the completion of the poem for MS B (Wordsworth's hand).



Revision to MS B in order to remove lines 469-606 for publication in The Excursion (Wordsworth's hand).



After removal of Excursion material, new drafting in an attempt to rewrite the base text (Wordsworth's hand).


1812-14 or 1831-32

Revision relating to the creation of the second fair copy text: MS D. (Mary Wordsworth's hand).

Compare the different kinds of revision on the manuscript pages from MS B given below. What do you think each one represents?

A (2r)

B (4r)

C (22r)

D (19r)

By William

By William

By William

By Mary

MS B 2r

MS B 4r

MS B 22r

MS B 19r