MS D and Physical Acts on the Page

In MS D we see a change in the kind of marks and acts being undertaken on the page, mostly by Mary Wordsworth. All of these marks indicate that the manuscript is at a later stage of the process of drafting. This is most clearly signalled by the increased amount of final punctuation within the manuscript in the form of exclamation marks, speech marks, colons, etc. Much of this appears to have been added later.

It is also signalled by a change in the kinds of activity which occur most frequently upon the page. These now involve numerous insertion marks for the addition of words and phrases and numerous overwritten words and letters. Another act which appears in MS D for the first time in any Home at Grasmere manuscripts is underlining of words. All of these acts suggest an increased awareness of audience and readership. You can search for these attributes by clicking below.

Even though MS D is the last surviving fair copy version of the poem, it does also still contain quite a considerable amount of revision. Large crossings-out as well as the pasted-on sheets indicate the removal or re-structuring of blocks of work within the whole. Had the poem ever been sent to the printer it would surely have needed to be copied out again at least once.