University of Virginia Library


With regard to Foxon's views of the relationship between title and table of contents, one might indeed feel uncomfortable with the pace of a scenario in which, while the original printing of the book perhaps included a Cottle title page on O4, and while no evidence exists that the cancellation of "Lewti" was determined before that title was printed, nonetheless either the cancellation of "Lewti" or the arrival of Wordsworth's prefatory essay occurred at a moment so exactly timed that it caused the printer to pull up short and print the "Lewti" table of contents merely for nonce purposes and on non-standard paper. And one might also feel, regarding the printer's supposedly "gratuitous" use of space on the half sheet O for advertisements, that Cottle in his weak financial condition would hardly have regarded such advertisements as a matter of little importance. But in any case, at a more concrete level, one must also notice the degree to which Foxon's fundamental logic depends on his assessments of paper.

These assessments are in fact crucial, as Foxon himself helps us see. He points out that the setting of type for both contents pages, except for the line originally listing "Lewti," is the same (p. 224). So if he had found the paper of the "Lewti" contents leaf to be the same as that of the rest of the volume, he would have felt necessary—barring preclusive evidence such as an inappropriate watermark—to consider the possibility that the "Lewti" table of contents rather than a Bristol-Cottle title might have occupied O4. As already indicated, he also points out that the setting of type for the Bristol-Longman title is, apart from imprint, the same as the London-Arch. So if the Bristol-Longman title had been found printed on the same paper as the rest of the book, the leaf on which it is printed would have had to be regarded as physically no worse suited for public issue than the London-Arch title even though, in the event, it was not printed in a full run. Finally, if both the contents leaf and the title leaf had been found printed on the same paper as the rest of the volume, the story (watermarks not contradicting) would be, prima facie, that the "Lewti" contents leaf was printed as O4, that the Bristol-Longman title was printed at practically the same time, and that the binder, when he used the Bristol-Longman title for copies of the book containing "Lewti," was using the only title leaf that had been printed. And no reason would be evident why copies in either of the two ideal Bristol-Longman-imprint collations should not have been thought, at the time they were bound, ready for open-market sale as soon as Longman became the publisher that the title page announced him to be. Probably, in fact, both these leaves were


Page 237
printed on the same paper as the body of the book, and probably the "Lewti" table of contents was printed on O4.