William Wordsworth, Dorothy Wordsworth

The Letters of William and Dorothy Wordsworth, Vol. 7: The Later Years: Part IV: 1840–1853 (Second Revised Edition)

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1560. W. W. to HENRY TAYLOR

  • Address: H. Taylor Esq, 16 Blandford Square, Dorset Square. [In M. W.'s hand]
  • Postmark: 19 Nov. 1841.
  • Endorsed: Wordsworth respecting Sonnets on Punishment of Death 1841.
  • MS. Bodleian Library.
  • K. LY iii. 1098.

  • Rydal. Friday morning in haste for the Post.
  • [19 Nov. 1841]

My dear Mr Taylor,

Nothing but the importance of the Subject can, I feel, justify pg 263me in troubling you again. The additional Sonnet1 sent the other day had only just been written. It is wrongly placed and would stand much better immediately after the third. I could wish it also to be altered thus towards the conclusion.

  •                         The strife
  •       of individual will, to elevate
  •       The grovelling mind, the craving to recall
  •       And fortify etc.

Read in what could stand as the 9th2

  •       Fit retribution by the moral code
  •       Determined, lies beyond the State's embrace
  •       Yet, as she may, for each peculiar case
  •       She plants etc.

I am strongly inclined to think that for many reasons it would be better to leave these Sonnets untouched in your Review, but I leave the matter to your own judgement.

  • ever faithfully yours,      
  • Wm Wordsworth

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Notes

Editor’s Note
1 Sonnet ix in the final order.
Editor’s Note
2 Sonnet viii in the final order.
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