Lot 256
Sold for £5,400 (US$ 9,076) inc. premium
Lot Details
Autograph manuscript of his poem 'First Floweret of the Year', signed ("Wm Wordsworth") and dated "Whitehaven Castle 1st Oct.br 1823", comprising sixteen lines beginning: "First Floweret of the year is that which shows/ Its rival whiteness mid surrounding snows" and ending: "Strangers! forgive the deed, an unsought task,/ For what you look on, Friendship deigned to ask"; written at the head of an album containing verses and illustrated with poems and drawings, in watercolour, grey washes, pencil and pen-and-ink in various amateur hands, including a transcript, in an early nineteenth century, probably female, hand of Southey's lines written for the Countess of Lonsdale's album, 1821, headed with a vignette view of Rydal Water and concluded with a finely romantic view of Lowther Castle seen across rolling woodland; the last verse in the album dated 15 April 1826, Wordsworth's poem on one page, a dozen other pages filled otherwise remaining blank, one leaf seemingly extracted, half red morocco over boards, 8vo, 1823-1826


  • This poem was written by Wordsworth when he was staying at Lowther Castle with his patron Lord Lonsdale; and appears to have been solicited by a fellow guest, James O'Callaghan MP, no doubt on behalf of a younger, female, member of his family: its provenance and the poem itself being discussed in three letters by Mary Moorman and two by Robert Gittings sold with the album (arguing that it belonged to O'Callaghan himself). The poem is printed in the Cornell Poems of William Wordsworth, iii, p.577.
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