John Wilson: The "Margaret" poems

Dundas, Philip (2005) John Wilson: The "Margaret" poems. MPhil(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

In her 1862 biography 'Christopher North'; A memoir of John Wilson, Mary Gordon brushes over some important extant juvenilia composed by her father, dismissing it as sentimental versification. However, she refers to a volume of poems written by Wilson in 1802 and given to a young woman called Margaret Mitchelson. In an article written in PMLA in 1940 'John Wilson and the 'Orphan-Maid: some unpublished letters' Alan Lang Strout writes about a number of letters Wilson wrote from Oxford over several years, lamenting the loss of Margaret, whom his mother would not accept as suitable for her wealthy son. These letters (here offered in their original versions) and the volume of poems demonstrate the enormous importance of this experience in Wilson's early life and gives us invaluable insight into his educational background and literary influences. They show a young man completely in tune with the literary debates and poets of his day. And they also give us a fascinating view of the intellectual development of the young man at Glasgow College (before it became the university) who famously wrote a lengthy critique of Lyrical Ballads to Wordsworth in 1802, the same year as this volume was compiled. Although little is known of its provenance, the octavo, calf-bound volume was bought by the British Library in the late 1920s. The volume contains a 38pp preface and 36 poems, covering over 200 pages. This submission for Master of Philosophy by research presents an edited version of these previously undiscovered poems and preface with introductory chapters detailing the circumstances behind and influences on their composition.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: English literature
Date of Award: 2005
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2005-71195
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 10 May 2019 10:49
Last Modified: 10 May 2019 10:49
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/71195

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