Understanding MS R

MS R (DCMS 28) is written across, over and around an interleaved copy of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's Poems on Various Subjects (1796). The Home at Grasmere material is entered on pages 131-175 (gatherings K, L, M) of the published book with interleaved pages. It was used by Wordsworth to draft work towards the poem, either in 1800 or in 1806 (see discussion below) and corresponds to lines 471-859 of MS B. Pages 33-64 (gatherings D and E) of the same book were used for drafting "Michael" in 1800.

MS R therefore partly needs to be understood alongside the related manuscript material for "Michael" in DC MS 30. The paper of these two MSS consists of two kinds: that of the printed pages of the book and that of the interleaved pages. The untrimmed printed pages measure 10.2/5 by 16. 1/7 cm. on wove paper with the watermark "J WHATMAN (Butler and Green, Lyrical Ballads, xxv). The interleaved pages measure 10.5 by 16.9 cm. and are "of laid paper, watermarked with a Britannia and countermarked COLES over 1795" (Butler and Green, xxv).

The printed pages of Coleridge's Poems on Various Subjects are intact for MS 30 (from pages 33-64). The book is arranged so that a published leaf alternates with an interleaf. Two interleaved pages are missing (18 and 30) and there is a stub at p. 16.

The central portion of the book (pages 65-130) is lost.

The second block of manuscript material for DC MS 28 starts at p.131 of the published book. Here there are a number of missing pages and interleafs within the manuscript. Missing pages of the printed book occur at 133/134 and 139/140. Missing interleaved pages occur after p. 132 (in front of the missing page of the book); after page 138 (in front of the missing page of the book) and between pages 142 and 143.

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