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It Was Wond’ring

In response to:

The Black Ox from the February 29, 1968 issue

To the Editors:

May I please add a footnote to my recent review [NYR, Feb. 29] of Yvor Winters’s Forms of Discovery? It concerns a point I raised about one of Charles Churchill’s poems, the “Dedication to the Sermons.” I suggested that the reading “wond’ring” might be a mistake for the cliché “wand’-ring.” Professor Douglas Grant, the editor of Churchill, has written to me about this. It appears that “wond’ring” is right. This is the reading in the British Museum proofs, as in the first edition of the Sermons. The “Dedication” was first included in the collected Works in the fifth edition, 1774, and the reading is there unchanged. My copy, dated 1767, is therefore unauthorized; a piracy, in fact. There were many piracies of Churchill, mostly coming from Dublin, I am ashamed to admit.

Denis Donoghue

Dublin

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