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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 November, 2004, 09:52 GMT
Rare poetry collection is saved
Historic book
One of the rare books complete with notes by the poet
A collection of rare historic books some which have never been seen by the public are to be displayed in Cumbria.

The collection of mostly Romantic era poetry has been bought by the Wordsworth Trust, which runs the laureate's former home in Grasmere.

The works include a complete set of early 19th century first editions by Percy Bysshe Shelley and John Keats.

They had been in private hands until the trust bought the collection for 640,000 using Lottery funding.

The collection of 1,300 books was built up by private collector Geoffrey Bindman and his father over 40 years.

'Unique opportunity'

The trust will put the entire collection before the public for the first time.

One of the books contains Lewti, a love poem written by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

William Wordsworth wrote the poem in his schoolboy days, and having never published it, asked his friend to create an improved version.

Coleridge went on to make more notes, suggesting further improvements, on the margins of the poem.

Wordsworth Centre
The books will be housed close to Wordsworth's former home
Wordsworth Trust director Dr Robert Woof said: "You can see Coleridge's thoughts on how he would have wanted to improve the poem.

"A lot of information can be gleaned from those notes but until now, scholars have not been able to study them because they have been in private hands.

Dr Woof said: "It was a unique opportunity to buy this fine set of books.

"The grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund has prevented it from being sold and, in all likelihood, being split up."

The books will be housed in the Jerwood Centre, which stands close to Dove Cottage, in Grasmere, William Wordsworth's former home.

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