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HARVARD COLLEGE AND
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year one thousand
eight hundred and fifty-three, by
HARPER & BROTHERS, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Southern District
of New York.
1507 . 43-51
WILLIAM WORDSWORTH, Esq., P. L.
MY DEAR MR. WORDSWORTH, I have received with great pleasure your permission to inscribe to you this new edition of my Father's Biographia Literaria. You will find in it some of the latest writings of my dear departed Husband ;—some too of my own, to which I know you will be indulgent; but my chief reason for dedicating it to you is, that it contains, though only in a brief and fragmentary form, an account of the Life and Opinions of your friend, S. T. Coleridge, in which I feel assured that, however you may dissent from portions of the latter, you take a high and peculiar interest. His name was early associated with yours from the time when you lived as neighbors, and both together sought the Muse, in the lovely Vale of Stowey. That this association may endure as long as you are both remembered,—that not only as a Poet, but as a Lover and a Teacher of Wisdom, my Father may continue to be spoken of in connection with you, while your writings become more and more fully and widely appreciated, is the dearest and proudest wish that I can form for his memory.
I remain, dear Mr. Wordsworth,
REGENT'S PARK, January 30, 1847.
This new edition of my Father's Biographia Literaria was partly prepared for publication by his late Editor. The corrections of the text in the first nine or ten chapters, and chapters xiii. xiv. xv. and perhaps xvi. are by his hand ; the notes signed “ Editor" were written by him ; and he drew up the Biographical Supplement (the first three chapters of it containing the Letters), which is placed at the end of the volume. His work it has fallen to me to complete, and the task has been interesting, though full of affecting remembrances, and brought upon me by the deepest sorrow of my life. The biographical sketch I have published as I found it, with trifling alterations and omissions, filling up a few gaps and supplying the mottoes. Had the writer himself taken it up again, he would probably have improved and continued it.
I have only to add that my thanks are due to many kind friends, who have assisted me in my part of the undertaking with advice, information, or loan of books; especially my Father's dear Friend and Fellow Student, Mr. Green, Archdeacon Hare, and my brother-in-law, Mr. Justice Coleridge. I am also much indebted for help toward my work to Mr. Pickering, by whom a great number of the books referred to in the notes were placed in my hands