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Wordsworth's Revisitings$
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Stephen Gill

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199268771

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199268771.001.0001

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On Sarum’s Plain

On Sarum’s Plain

(p.179) 6 On Sarum’s Plain
Wordsworth's Revisitings

Stephen Gill

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers Wordsworth’s last revisiting. In 1841, in a tour that took in Alfoxden and sites associated with Lyrical Ballads, Wordsworth crossed Salisbury Plain. He had first done so in 1793. The poem produced then, Salisbury Plain, was not published, nor was the revision of it, Adventures on Salisbury Plain. Now, after a lapse of 40 years, Wordsworth returned to it and revised it into Guilt and Sorrow; or, Incidents Upon Salisbury Plain. Examination of all versions of the poem brings out its significance for Wordsworth at various stages of his life and what the poem meant in the substantially revised version he was prepared to make public in 1842. Wordsworth’s place in early Victorian culture is once more stressed.

Keywords:   Alfoxden, Cottle, Salisbury Plain, Female Vagrant, Spenserian, war, poor law, capital punishment

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