This is very interesting!
In Latin, the word “secundus” can mean both “second” and “favourable.” Today, many book collectors focus on first editions, but our modern fixation with firsts is a relatively recent phenomenon. The entry on “The Chronological Obsession” in John Carter’s ABC for Book Collectors states that “the average 19th-century collector was as much interested in the finest looking or best-edited edition as in the first.” Second and subsequent editions often incorporate new information and new insights that make them textually superior to their predecessors. In this week’s blog post, we’ll examine some of the reasons you may want to look favourably on the second edition of Lyrical Ballads by William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
The second edition of Lyrical Ballads (London: T. N. Longman and O. Rees, 1800) from the Cardiff Rare Books Collection.
Lyrical ballads was originally published in 1798. It consisted chiefly of poems by Wordsworth with four contributions by Coleridge, although…
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