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Lyrical Ballads: 1798 and 1802 (Oxford World's Classics) [Paperback]

William Wordsworth , Samuel Taylor Coleridge , Fiona Stafford
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
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Book Description

11 July 2013 Oxford World's Classics
'Listen, Stranger!' Wordsworth and Coleridge's joint collection of poems has often been singled out as the founding text of English Romanticism. Within this initially unassuming, anonymous volume were many of the poems that came to define their age and which have continued to delight readers ever since, including 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner', the 'Lucy' poems, 'Lines written a few miles above Tintern Abbey', 'A Slumber did my Spirit seal' and many more. Wordsworth's famous Preface is a manifesto not just for Romanticism but for poetry in general. This is the only edition to print both the original 1798 collection and the expanded 1802 edition, with the fullest version of the Preface and Wordsworth's important Appendix on Poetic Diction. It offers modern readers a sense of what it was like to encounter Lyrical Ballads for the first time, and to see how it developed. Important letters are included, as well as a wide-ranging introduction and generous notes. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (11 July 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199601968
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199601967
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 22,428 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Lyrical Ballads, in case you missed it, is, quite simply, possibly the single most important collection of poems in English ever published. Nicholas Lezard, Guardian An invaluable resource for both teachers and students of Romantic literature... elegant, informative and clearly written introduction, a lucid overview of the Lyrical Ballads' transformation between 1798 and 1802... warmly recommended. Susan Valladares, Reviews Editor for the British Association for Romantic Studies' Bulletin & Review and Lecturer in English, Worcester College, Oxford

About the Author

Fiona Stafford has written widely on Romantic literature. Her books include Reading Romantic Poetry (Wiley Blackwell, 2012), and Local Attachments: the Province of Poetry (Oxford, 2010). She has edited Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice for Oxford World's Classics.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely book 10 Oct 2013
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
In 1798, William Wordsworth and Samuel Coleridge collaborated to produce a booklet of poetry, called, "Lyrical Ballads". In 1802, it was reprinted. This volume contains both versions, along with notes. It also has the original notes, introduction, Coleridge's notes on the Rime of the Ancyent Marinere from the 1817 publication, and some letters to and from Wordsworth. It is ideal for anyone studying these poems.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Touchstone of Romanticism 1 Oct 2013
By Michael Jacobs VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Lyrical Ballads is a very important piece of work, not just within the Romanticism movement but within English Literature. This book is exceptionally useful in that it sets contains both the 1798 and 1802 editions.

As is to be expected, this OUP edition contains a useful introduction, extensive endnotes, well presented line numbers alongside the verses.

I would say that this ediion is probably more aimed at the A-Level of undergraduate student studying Romanticism in some detail. There is considerable overlap between the 1798 and 1802 editions (of course, the latter contains extra poems and a useful preface which aren't in the 1798 edition). Where verses differ, the editor often draws the reader's attention to this in the notes. This is very interesting from an acadmic perspective and provides fertile ground for anyone looking to understand how Romanticism developed within those four years, or even do a comparison between different versions. But as something to plonk on the bookshelf at home and delve into from time to time... it's slightly unecessarily too much. There was of course an 1800 edition which, although alluded to from time to time, does not feature completely in this edition. If I were back at university studying Wordsworth, Coleridge or Romanticism more generally, this book would be at the top of my list. In this way, it is similar to the Penguin Classics edition of "The Prelude" (all four editions from 1798, 1979, 1805 and 1850 in one book!).

The only reason I have given this four stars is because, if someone is merely after a tome they can place in their coat pocket and dip into/read while commuting, this is probably ever so slightly too specialist in its contents. I think the OUP edition of "The Major Works" by Wordsworth and the separate OUP edition of "The Major Works" by Coleridge would perhaps be a better introduction into either/both of these two poets.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Approachable poetry... 27 Oct 2013
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This volume includes the original 1798 publication and the 1802 one, containing Wordsworth's Preface which, according to the Introduction is "often treated as a manifesto not only for its authors, but for the entire Romantic movement." The introduction and endnotes are extensive, for anyone who is interested in knowing more about the background or analysis of the poems.

It has always been my personal contention, however, that poems that require explanation have failed (yes, I'm talking about TS Eliot's The Wasteland - the man who requires his readers to have mastered not only Latin and Greek, but also Sanskrit). These poems on the whole are perfectly enjoyable without having to undertake a Masters degree in either poetical analysis or, indeed, languages ancient and modern. So this book is recommended for anyone who enjoys Wordsworth and Coleridge - whether casual poetry readers like myself or those who wish to look a bit deeper.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good scholarly edition of Lyrical Ballads 26 Sep 2013
By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I've never got on with Wordsworth: I want to like his poetry as I admire his radical politics, his support for the French Revolution, and his social liberalism - but we just don't gel poetically. I was hoping that a re-read of his verse might change my mind, but sadly not. Like Byron, who wrote a scathing retort to Lyrical Ballads, I can't get past the dreadful sentimentality of poems like The Idiot Boy (Byron: `when he tells the tale of Betty Foy | The idiot mother of `an idiot boy' | ... all who view the `idiot in his glory' | Conceive the bard the hero of the story').

Coleridge is more to my taste and the highlight of this volume is the original 1798 text of The Ancyent Marinere, together with the revised 1802 text. This is an extraordinary poem with its urgent narrative, its dislocated rhyme and stanza scheme, and its astonishing imagery and power. And yet, even here, we come to a bathetic climax (`He prayeth well who loveth well | Both man and bird and beast').

Like the other OWCs, this is a good scholarly edition - though Stafford's introduction has a tendency to gush a little at times. So this isn't poetry which particularly `speaks' to me - but if you want an academically reliable edition, this is good.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Daffodils et al 22 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I love poetry so I decided to add Wordsworth to my shelf, I have enjoyed what I have read so far and feel this is a good addition to my collection although not a favorite yet
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4.0 out of 5 stars Well known poems in a neat collection 21 Nov 2013
By Ms. R. L. A. Amelan VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The Wordsworth and Coleridge lyrical ballards are well known works to the majority of people and thus need very little introduction. They are memorable and fine consisting, as they do, of such poems as "The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner" (Coleridge) and Wordsworth's descriptions of Lake District life, including the Lucy poems. This is true romantic poetry.

The introduction adds much useful information and I found it helpful but I did not particularly like this edition. The reason for this is that the paper is a little thin and making notes around the poems for study reasons would prove a little difficult as I rather like sturdy pages for this. I would also prefer a more substantial cover given that, in scholastic use, the books always get more wear than normal. I have pointed this out because these volumes often get used in this manner rather than simply languishing on domestic shelves.

A reasonable buy though certainly for the notes.
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