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Literary Manuscript Culture in Romantic Britain$
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Michelle Levy

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781474457064

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474457064.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 06 July 2022

Intentionality and the Romantic Literary Manuscript

Intentionality and the Romantic Literary Manuscript

(p.28) Chapter 1 Intentionality and the Romantic Literary Manuscript
Literary Manuscript Culture in Romantic Britain

Michelle Levy

Edinburgh University Press

Chapter 1 supplies an essential description of manuscript and print cultures in the Romantic period. It probes the attempts by book historians, manuscript scholars, and textual editors to establish guidelines for understanding modern literary manuscripts, that is, manuscripts created in the age of print. It questions conceptions of scribal culture that rest upon the scholar’s capacity to discern authorial intention, and that exclude from consideration those manuscripts intended for print. Donald Reiman, in his categorisation of modern manuscripts into three groups – private, confidential or social, and public – relies upon an editor’s ability to determine the intended audience of any given manuscript. However, as this chapter demonstrates, intention is rarely discernible. This chapter grounds its theoretical analysis in a detailed survey of the literary writing and material practices of Charlotte Smith and Dorothy Wordsworth, two authors who have long been regarded as belonging, respectively and exclusively, to the divided worlds of print and script.

Keywords:   Authorial Intention, Textual Scholarship, Private, Confidential and Public Manuscripts, Charlotte Smith, Dorothy Wordsworth

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