Poetry in its many guises is at the center of Coleridge's multifarious interests, and this long-awaited new edition of his complete poetical works marks the pinnacle of the Bollingen Collected Coleridge. The three parts of Volume 16 confirm and expand the sense of the Coleridge who has emerged over the past half-century, with implications for English Romantic writing as a whole. Setting new standards of comprehensiveness in the presentation of Romantic texts, they will interest historians and editorial theorists, as well as readers and students of poetry. They represent a work of truly monumental importance.
The second part presents the same 706 poems as the first, in the same chronological sequence, but differently records in each case all known textual information in collated form--allowing for alternative construals of the reading texts. An additional 135 items are inserted into the same sequence, comprising poems mistakenly ascribed to Coleridge or of dubious authenticity and poems that remained only in the planning stage or that are referred to but have not been recovered. The index of titles and first lines incorporates the full range of variants.
All told, the Collected Coleridge variorum sequence collates over a third more additional texts--in more detailed and accurate form--than those found in the previous standard edition, by E.H. Coleridge. The presentation method in this second part will interest editorial theorists as well as those interested primarily in Coleridge and/or the making of poetry. The unusually detailed textual information also reveals changes in such areas as linguistic and grammatical usage, patterns of transcription and circulation among anthologists, and contemporary publishers' house styles.