Who is our audience?
Our hope is that this edition can have broad appeal — to students (from high school to graduate level), to scholars interested in the material history of the text and some of the digital methods we will be using, and to members of the general public. We have thus sought to make our edition as accessible as possible, while also engaging in scholarly discourse and employing rigorous editorial methods. As we are seeking to reach a broad audience, we have attempted to keep our editing practices and presentation styles uniform.
What kind of edition is this?
We elected to prepare diplomatic representations of each page in the text. This method was chosen as we wished to emphasize the material dimensions of the 1798 copy of the London edition, held in Special Collections at SFU Library. Our interest in this edition and indeed this particular copy of the 1798 edition meant that an eclectic edition, which would attempt to reconcile in some way the variants between the 1798 and later editions, did not seem suitable, as we did not want some ideal version of the text, but the text that actually appears on the pages of our library’s copy. Given our interest in this material copy, we also include side-by-side displays of the page images.
We offer short introductions to each poem to offer some context for its publication and reception. There is also a brief note on each poem, that describes its placement in the poem and any relevant material/bibliographical elements. We keep annotations to a minimum, and do not offer a history of variants, as we are focused on the question of the intertwining of linguistic and bibliographical codes apparent in our library’s copy of Lyrical Ballads.
What is our argument?
Our edition is rooted in the close examination of the physical copy of a book; we want to explore what we can learn about the text from this careful attention to the artifact itself, and our edition will respect that through its editorial principles.