Translations of Chaucer and Virgil

Overview

William Wordsworth's two most extensive translation projects were his modernization of selected poems by Chaucer and his unfinished translation of Virgil's Aeneid. Bruce E. Graver offers the first reliable texts, the first complete account of their genesis and publication, and the fullest account of Wordsworth's practice as a translator.

Graver's reading of the Aeneid corrects hundreds of substantive errors in the published texts of the translation. Unlike other volumes in the ...

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Overview

William Wordsworth's two most extensive translation projects were his modernization of selected poems by Chaucer and his unfinished translation of Virgil's Aeneid. Bruce E. Graver offers the first reliable texts, the first complete account of their genesis and publication, and the fullest account of Wordsworth's practice as a translator.

Graver's reading of the Aeneid corrects hundreds of substantive errors in the published texts of the translation. Unlike other volumes in the Cornell Wordsworth series, this one focuses on a particular kind of poetical work, translation. Like others, it includes reading texts with full critical apparatuses, photographic reproductions and transcriptions of manuscripts, as well as Graver's own introduction and notes which amount to a critical monograph on Wordsworth and translation.

Graver suggests that both translation projects were self-conscious attempts on Wordsworth's part to compete with John Dryden, the pre-eminent English translator. He supplies evidence for a major reassessment of Wordsworth's attitudes toward Dryden and, indirectly, of the relationship of Wordsworth's poetry to British neoclassicism. Graver believes Wordsworth's scholarly abilities were much greater than commonly supposed, and that his translations will interest classicists, medievalists, and eighteenth-century scholars, as well as romanticists.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Like all the other volumes in the superb 'Cornell Wordsworth,' this one provides reading texts of the works involved, a generous selection of photographic manuscript facsimiles with indispensable transcriptions, and a richly detailed critical apparatus. Graver's lengthy introductions to the Chaucer and Virgil sections add significantly to the reader's understanding of Wordsworth's ideals as a translator and his relation to the past. . . . Libraries will want to acquire this title . . . because there is much here to engage the attention of Chaucer and Latin students, upper-level English majors and graduate students with a particular focus on Romanticism, or, indeed, anyone with a serious interest in translation and the creative process."—Choice

"Bruce E. Graver's edition of Translations of Chaucer and Virgil by William Wordsworth will be of considerable interest to Chaucerians. Graver gives a full account of the textual history of Wordsworth's modernizations. . . The reader is able to trace both composition and the revisions, and to perceive the extent of Wordsworth's respect for the medieval poet's idiom and diction. . . .The scholarship..will generally advance the study of Chaucer's reception in the post-medieval era."—Valerie Allen and Margaret Connolly, The Year's Work in English Studies

"There are further rewards for attending to this translation, for it includes many of the passages that had already been important to Wordsworth's published poetry, most of all to The Excursion. . . . Perhaps most important of all, these findings and this volume should remind us that the boy who labored over his exercises at Hawkshead School never entirely forgot his lessons, and that the list of formative books famously acknowledged in The Prelude does not begin to exhaust the tributaries of his stream of knowledge."—David Simpson, The Wordsworth Circle

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801434525
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Publication date: 6/25/1998
  • Series: The Cornell Wordsworth Series
  • Pages: 606
  • Product dimensions: 6.51 (w) x 9.59 (h) x 1.74 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Abbreviations
Manuscript Census
Editorial Procedure
Pt. I Selections from Chaucer, Modernized
Introduction 3
Reading Texts 33
The Prioress's Tale 35
The Cuckoo and the Nightingale 45
Troilus and Cresida. Extract from Chaucer 56
The Manciple, from the Prologue And his Tale 61
Editor's Notes 69
Nonverbal Variants 74
Transcriptions 79
DC MS. 13 with Preceding and Facing Photographs 81
DC MS. 24 with Facing Photographs 145
Chaucer Modernizations in DC MS. 89 151
Pt. II Translation of Virgil's Aeneid
Introduction 155
Reading Text 177
Book I 181
Book II 214
Book III 247
Book IV, Lines 688-692 270
Book VIII, Lines 337-366 270
Georgics, Book IV, Lines 511-515 272
Editor's Notes 273
Nonverbal Variants 317
Transcriptions 329
Aeneid Drafts in DC MS. 89 Preceded by Photographs 331
DC MS. 101 with Facing Photographs 525
App. I Wordsworth's Letters to Lord Lonsdale 561
App. II Coleridge's Notes in DC MS. 101 to Aeneid, Book I 569
App. III Extract from Aeneid, Book I, in The Philological Museum 579
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