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This new edition of my Father's Biographia Literaria was partly prepared for publication by his late Editor. The corrections of the text in the first nine or ten chapters of Vol. I., and in the first three or four of Vol. II., are by his hand; the notes signed “Editor” were written by him; and he drew up the Biographical Supplement (the first three chapters of it containing the Letters), which was placed at the end of the second volume. His work it has fallen to me to complete, and the task has been interesting, though full of affecting remembrances, and brought upon me by the deepest sorrow of my life. The biographical sketch I have published as I found it, with trifling alterations and omissions, filling up a few gaps and supplying the mottoes. Had the writer himself taken it up again, he would probably have improved and continued it.
I have only to add that my thanks are due to many kind friends, whc have assisted me in my part of the undertaking with advice, information, or loan of books; especially my Father's dear Friend and Fellow Student, Mr. Green, Archdeacon Hare, and my brother-in-law, Mr. Justice Coleridge. I am also much indebted for help towards my work to Mr. Pickering, by whom a great number of the books referred to in the notes were placed in my hands.
WILLIAM WORDSWORTH, ESQ. P.L.
MY DEAR MR. WORDSWORTH, ! ZAVE received with great pleasure your permission to inscribe to you this new edition of my Father's Biographia Lileraria. You will find in it some of the latest writings of my dear departed Husband; some too, of my own, to which I know you will be indulgent; but my chief reason for dedicating it to you is, that it contains, though only in a brief and fragmentary form, an account of the Life and Opinions of your friend, S. T. Coleridge, in which I feel assured that, however you may dissent from portions of the latter, you take a high and peculiar interest. His name was early associated with your’s from the time when you lived as neighbors, and both together sought the Muse, in the lovely Vale of Stowey. That this association may endure as long as you are both remembered,—that not only as a Poet, but as a Lover and a Teacher of Wisdom, my Father may continue to be spoken of in connexion with you, while your writings become more and more fully and widely appreciated, is the dearest and proudest wish that I can form for his memory.
I remain, dear Mr. Wordsworth,