Comparing Drafts: The Boat-Stealing Episode
The passage in which Wordsworth describes himself as a boy, stealing a rowing boat, rowing out onto the lake and suffering the consequences and after-effects of his "act of stealth and troubled pleasure" exists as a copied text which breaks down in MS JJ. It is entered on Sv and Tr, and then is reworked two pages back in the notebook on Rv, as well as copied in the letter. It is reproduced below in these three states.
The letter to Coleridge represents the first presentation of these pieces to an audience. Try reading the text in the context of the letter. How easy or otherwise is this? To what extent does the physical and material context of the letter affect your response to the poetic text (for better or worse)?
First Version: MS JJ, Sv,Tr
Second Version: MS JJ, Rv
Third Version: DW in Letter from Goslar (enlarged)
For analysis of the Boat-Stealing Episode go to: