First Edition of Lyrical Ballads

Special Collections is proud to announce its acquisition of a first edition of Lyrical Ballads by William Wordsworth and Samuel Coleridge for the Edward M. Rowe Collection of Wordsworth.

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Published in 1798 by J. & A. Arch at Gracechurch-street, London, Wordsworth and Coleridge wrote most of these poems as “experiments” in order to “ascertain how far the language of conversation in the middle and lower classes of society is adapted to the purposes of poetic pleasure.” In a way, this book revolutionized the art of writing poetry because the authors used common language to describe common subjects, which became a major feature of Romantic literature. This edition includes classic works such as “The Rime of an Ancient Mariner” by Coleridge and “Lines written a few miles above Tintern Abbey” by Wordsworth. Bound in beautiful marbled leather with gilt borders on the upper and lower covers and gilt lettering on the spine, this book is a valuable addition to our collection. We hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we do.

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