Well we all know how Wordsworth treated his books, but now we can gain some insight into how he edited his poems, thanks to a new acquisition by the Wordsworth Trust. A first edition of Wordsworth's poem "The White Doe of Rylstone" has come to light, "covered in revisions in the handwriting of the poet’s wife Mary Wordsworth. They were made in preparation for the second edition of the work in 1820 and show Wordsworth’s constant changes from the early drafts to proof stages."
Trust director David Wilson said of the find "For Wordsworth the process of composition of verse and prose was a continuous one. Publication was just one stage in the never ending reworking and revisiting of the his text. This is an excellent example of that process and it is an important addition to the collection we hold here."
The Wordsworth Trust, in Grasmere, holds some 90 percent of existing Wordsworth manuscript material.