The aim and purport of this edition of the Poetical Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge is to provide the general reader with an authoritative list of the poems and dramas hitherto published, and at the same time to furnish the student with an exhaustive summary of various readings derived from published and unpublished sources, viz. (1) the successive editions issued by the author, (2) holograph MSS., or (3) contemporary transcriptions. Occasion has been taken to include in the Text and Appendices a considerable number of poems, fragments, metrical experiments and first drafts of poems now published for the first time from MSS. in the British Museum, from Coleridge's Notebooks, and from MSS. in the possession of private collectors. The text of the poems and dramas follows that of the last edition of the Poetical Works published in the author's lifetime—the three-volume edition issued by Pickering in the spring and summer of 1834. I have adopted the text of 1834 in preference to that of 1829, which was selected by James Dykes Campbell for his monumental edition of 1893. I should have deferred to his authority but for the existence of conclusive proof that, here and there, Coleridge altered and emended the text of 1829, with a view to the forthcoming edition of 1834. In the Preface to the 'new edition' of 1852, the editors maintain that the three-volume edition of 1828 (a mistake for 1829) was the last upon which Coleridge was 'able to bestow personal care and attention', while that of 1834 was 'arranged mainly if not entirely at the discretion of his latest editor, H. N. Coleridge'. This, no doubt, was perfectly true with regard to the choice and arrangement of the poems, and the labour of seeing the three volumes through the press; but the fact remains that the text of 1829 differs from that of 1834, and that Coleridge himself, and not his 'latest editor', was responsible for that difference.The Poetical Works - eBook
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Samuel Taylor Coleridge
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