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Tennyson : 'In Memoriam' manuscript notebook

Tennyson, Alfred Tennyson, Baron, 1809-1892


<p style='text-align: justify;'>A long, slim, rebound manuscript notebook watermarked 1834, contains drafts of 71 sections of <i>In Memoriam</i> and one draft of 'On a Mourner'. Four of the <i>In Memoriam</i> sections were not published during Tennyson's life. Of these, Hallam Tennyson published three in his <i>Memoir</i>, though with inaccuracies that Ricks continues in his edition. The fourth section was published by Ricks in the <i>TLS</i>, 21 August 1969. The variants in 'On a Mourner' have not been recorded, and Ricks does not mention this draft in his notes to the poem.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Tennyson dated the notebook November 8, 1842, though the precise meaning of this date is not clear, for it is the same date he gave to the later Lincoln manuscript. James Spedding, who reviewed the notebook and left numerous comments in pencil, dated one of his notes November 11 (see <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(43);return false;'>folio 39v</a>). Many of Spedding's comments were torn from the notebook, many more erased, and in three instances Tennyson added stanzas over erased Spedding notes. If Spedding's review was in 1842, then these instances of palimpsest allow us at least one precise date in <i>In Memoriam</i>'s obscure history of composition.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>In addition to these instances of revision in the text, the manuscript's very interesting bibliographical state shows that the final sixteen pages were arranged in their present order by F. Bedford, the binder, and that sometime after Bedford's binding six entire pages were torn from the book. Only folios 8-30 (gatherings 217 and 38 in my collational formula below) are in the same order now as they were in the original notebook.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>John Charles Yearwood, Jr.</p>

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