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Manuscript of ‘Old Man Travelling’

Sally Bushell from Lancaster University examines the manuscript of ‘Old Man Travelling’ and explains the process by which Wordsworth created the poem.

Watch this video in which Professor Sally Bushell examines the manuscript of ‘Old Man Travelling’ and explains the process by which Wordsworth created the poem.

You may want to pay particular attention to the different sections of manuscript text, as you will have a chance to create your own manuscript of ‘Old Man Travelling’.

Now you can try to reconstruct the manuscript.

Print the 6 sections of text in the attachment below and stick them onto 2 portrait sheets of A4, arranged like the pages of a book (left hand sheet is the verso, right hand sheet is the recto) to create your own copy of the manuscript. The important part here is understanding the order in which William Wordsworth wrote the poem. You may wish to watch the video again whilst you are doing this task.

If you do not have access to a printer, see if you can produce a sketch using the relative sizes of each segments of the poem as a template by referring to the manuscript download, and complete the task as above.

We have provided you with a model answer where each box has a number which signals the order in which the text was entered onto the two pages.

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William Wordsworth: Poetry, People and Place

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