About the Site

Welcome to the first digital scholarly edition of William Wordsworth's most studied and taught loco-descriptive poem, "Lines Written a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey: On Revisiting the Banks of the Wye During a Tour, July 13, 1798," best known as "Tintern Abbey."

This educational and research tool offers a diplomatic transcription of the original 1798 edition of the poem as it first appeared in Lyrical Ballads (1798). This transcription is accompanied by a variety of annotations, full of contextual and scholarly information and media to enhance your experience of Wordsworth's iconic poem. Since the Wye Valley landscape located in the borderlands between England and Wales is so crucial to the poem's composition and content, annotations and media highlight the loco-descriptive features of the poem in order to shed light on and encourage further investigation into the role of place in this poem. These annotations are augmented with citations to the most influential scholarship on the poem, extensive literary analysis, other critical editions of the poem, links to digital manuscripts, and various other forms of visual media, including historical maps of the area, artwork from throughout the ages, and current high-resolution photos, videos, and 360° street-view images that capture the Wye Valley landscape. This digital scholarly edition follows the Modern Language Association (MLA) guidelines and strives for "transparency, accuracy, appropriateness of method, clear and responsible documentation, and the exercise of critical judgment in representing a full account of the textual situation at stake" (MLA). To ensure the quality and integrity of this project, this edition is routinely self-examined by the Guiding Questions for Vetters of Scholarly Editions provided by the MLA.

The Goal

The goal of this project is to bring "Tintern Abbey" to life for students, scholars, and educators. By familiarizing you with the geography and topography of the Wye Valley, and offering a wide variety of annotations and additional resources about the landscape in relation to the poem, this online scholarly edition aims to shed light on the poem's composition, content, and Wordsworth's creative process. Through this digital and interactive medium, it is my hope that this tool will enable you to better empathize with the poem and its larger themes, and connect your own experiences and imaginations with these 200-year old words written about landscapes you may not have otherwise visited, seen, or heard of. By seeing through Wordsworth's eyes, and gaining new insight into his creative process, and the role of place in his poetry, you will have the means blaze new paths for future scholarship and instruction based on your experiences, and eventually enrich the growing pool of knowledge about Wordsworth, his poetry, and the timeless subject of humankind's relationship with nature. The purpose of this digital scholarly edition is not to imbue a specific meaning or interpretation of the poem, but rather offer an accessible abundance of pertinent locational, historical, biographical, textual, and scholarly information and context for the poem, from which readers can choose or choose not to consider in their reading experience.

Continue scrolling, or use the Table of Contents below to continue viewing the Editorial Statement for this scholarly edition.

Contents:

  1. Intro
  2. The Goal
  3. Why a Digital Scholarly Edition?
  4. Content and Context
  5. Editorial Procedures
  6. Acknowledgements

Why a Digital Scholarly Edition?

A digital scholarly edition contains all of the learning, research, and pedagogical benefits of a print scholarly edition, but makes these things more accessible and engaging through a digital medium.

This tool was developed with a scholarly purpose to support learning and teaching, and was constructed using scholarly methods. You can be assured that all contextual information, primary materials, and media resources provided were carefully created and/or selected for integration into this edition. Prioritizing historical accuracy, I have sought to provide the most accurate information regarding this poem's textual creation and history, relying predominantly on primary source materials. I have vigorously reviewed and vetted all literary, historical, and biographical secondary sources used and provided in this project, paying particular attention to authors' credentials and research methods. Through my own scholarly analysis and critical judgment, I endeavor to clarify the connections between these primary and secondary materials and the poem. This tool offers you clear and unbiased explanatory information that can enable you to analyze and engage with the text more than ever before, and perhaps also advance the growing pool of scholarship about this poem.

Publishing all of this information in an electronic medium facilitates the presentation and organization of this information, and allows for immediate connections between text and context. At the same time, it also maintains the integrity of the original material, and paves the way for new literacy and future scholarship.

Presentation, Organization, and Accessibility:

Those who experience "Tintern Abbey" in print face significant physical and intellectual barriers in their reading and analysis the poem. First, the 1798 edition of the poem is difficult to come by—in print or online. Additionally, original 1798 copies of Lyrical Ballads are so rare that they are often not advertised in library databases, and require special permission from library authorities to view or handle. Such is the case at The British Library in London. Furthermore, scholarship about the poem is often hidden behind paywalls, which reflects a restrictive economic monopoly over learning, which is counter-intuitive to Wordsworth's goal to democratize language and poetry.

In a print edition, it is also difficult to obtain pertinent and correct information about the setting of "Tintern Abbey." Though the Wye Valley was once a hot tourist destination, a majority of 21st-century students, educators, and scholars reading this poem likely have not visited or seen this landscape before, and a print edition offers no avenue to do so. You could complete a quick Google or Wikipedia search, but the results may offer inaccurate or reductive representations of the poem's contextual information—especially in regards to location. To perform honest, quality examination and research of a location-and-time-specific poem, analysis should be based on data that is more representationally detailed and accurate than what a generic, wide-reaching Image Search might provide. This scholarly edition has identified and collected this representational data so that you do not have to navigate through multitudes of irrelevant or anachronistic information and media during your reading and research process. Collecting these materials and making them accessible to all users is just one of many ways that the Internet facilitates the interactions between the text and its readers.

Even when scholarly works are accessible, the formatting of journal, book, and anthology footnotes and endnotes varies widely, due to the available space on the page and in the overall work. Often, you are sent on a wild goose chase to match footnote numbers to the notes themselves, or to locate references to other materials in the collection. Due to spacing issues, notes are often concise and do not provide the detailed information you might be looking for. Most importantly, if you wish to follow references to external scholarship or literary works, you generally must go the extra mile to locate these materials yourself, which is both inhibiting and exclusionary, because not everyone has equal access to libraries or online scholarly journals.

Immediacy

Instead of sending you on a winding and unwieldly journey to locate notes and external sources, this electronic tool provides immediate connections between text and context. This resource lifts the burden of seeking out these materials from you, and allows you to instead focus your energy on reading and analysis. You no longer have to follow several different rabbit holes that lead further and further away from the text, and puzzle over a complex scheme to locate these external resources on your own time. Suddenly, rare 18th-century books, Wordsworth's manuscripts, and all kinds of location-and-time-specific visual media are just a click away. Rather than having to take a trip to the library, online archives, or even travel to or across Great Britain, you can now access research materials instantly and from anywhere.

New Literacy

The immediacy of these connections satisfies our cultural and intellectual need for instant knowledge gratification, and piques users' curiosity. This in turn encourages athletic and engaged reading, while also challenging you to practice new methods of reading and interpretation. This broadening of interpretive skills helps you to develop a type of scholarly literacy through digital multimedia.

At the same time, this tool also engages with 18th and 19th-century literacies of landscape, which emerged as descriptions of topography in prose became more cartographic and similar to field readings of actual landscapes. While maps and chart figures are intentionally incorporated into volumes of Wordsworth's later Lakeland Poetry, this tool provides these topographical and geographical resources to encourage a similar on-the-scene reading experience. This integration of text and "place" resources help to develop a form of cartoliteracy, and draw special attention to Wordsworth's "morphology of land and language" (Carlson 9).

Maintaining Textual Integrity

Since the fundamental purpose of an electronic edition is to preserve our cultural heritage, I have endeavored to preserve the poem in its original 1798 Lyrical Ballads format as accurately as possible. Textual accuracy has long been the priority of scholarly editions, because it preserves original authorial intention, content, and methods. While this digital edition contains supplemental scholarly and contextual information, the poem itself is a re-presentation of the original 1798 text in what is known as a diplomatic transcription. In a diplomatic transcription, all text, page layout, spelling, punctuation, capitalization pagination, indentation, and font styling remain as they organically appeared in 1798, with the exception of converting the text font into a conventional web font. Furthermore, all of Wordsworth's original authorial footnotes have been preserved. This transcription was specifically developed from a digital scan of an original 1798 London edition of Lyrical Ballads, provided generously by the Armstrong Browning Library at Baylor University. I have juxtaposed these scans of the poem next to the diplomatic transcription, so you can examine the details of this cultural artefact and witness the transparency between the original poem and the transcription.

Future Scholarship

The scholarly and contextual information provided in this tool can open up new avenues for scholarship—particularly in the environmental sciences and in the study of industrial history. However, this diplomatic transcription can also serve as the foundation for future literary research, which is compatible with the functions of Franco Moretti's concept of "distant reading." The diplomatic transcription of the original poem I have provided can be compared to later editions and other works through collation tools such as Juxta. This transcription could also be a building block for a larger digital repository or text corpus of Romantic poetry. Textual accuracy in this online tool is therefore crucial for the entire progeny of projects that may develop from it.

Content and Context

The Poem

The diplomatically transcribed 1798 edition of "Tintern Abbey" is the primary feature of this online tool. The transcription has been annotated to provide contextual and scholarly information and media related to the poem.

You can view this poem as it appears in a 1798 edition of Lyrical Ballads as well. The Armstrong Browning Library at Baylor University has provided digital scans of this text, which are available to view and download here.

You can also use this site to compare how the poem appears in various editions of Lyrical Ballads.

Annotations and The Importance of Place

A majority of the poem's annotations are centered around the locational and topographical features of "Tintern Abbey," because the Wye Valley and its landscape play a crucial role in the poem and in Wordsworth's composition process. For Wordsworth, the Wye Valley landscape is far more than physical topography; it is saturated with memories, emotion, and spiritual significance—all which intermingle with his imagination. All you have to do is hover your mouse over the bolded green text, and an annotation window will appear. The annotation will contain explanatory and contextual information about the selected text, as well as links, and multimedia that you can explore further.

The few existing discussions about "Tintern Abbey" and place are quite akin to territory wars, in which scholars contest the precise location(s) of the poem's composition and setting. Prompted by Marjorie Levinson's notable work, "Insight and Oversight: Reading 'Tintern Abbey,'" many other scholars have located the poem around the immediate vicinity of Tintern Abbey. Some even assert that the abbey is in Wordsworth's view when he is mentally composing the poem. Others such as Damien Walford Davies argue that the poem contains a combination of topographies that Wordsworth witnessed by foot and by boat. On the other hand, David Miall places Wordsworth more than just "a few" miles above Tintern Abbey—roughly 17 miles above the abbey near Symonds Yat and the New Weir on the borderlands of Herefordshire and Gloucestershire.

While a 17-mile range of possible placements may seem "accurate enough," this generalized range has significant impacts on analyses of the poem that are dependent on geographical location and topography, which can lead to dramatically different analyses and criticisms of the poem, many of which are based on and perpetuate incorrect historical and geo-and-socio-political information. The landscape within this 17-mile range is not homogenous, and hosts a variety of different ecosystems, which were all impacted differently by the industrial revolution, based on their available raw materials. (For example, the logging industry was based farther upriver from Tintern Abbey near the Forest of Dean for its abundance of trees.) Furthermore, certain areas of the Wye were far more industrialized than others at various stages of the 18th and 19th centuries, but many critics assess Wye Valley industry generationally and collectively, rather than examining its respective parts and stages. However, the title and content of "Tintern Abbey" root the poem in place and time as it pans through Wordsworth's experiences with the landscape at specific times in his life. Generalizing location and chronology is not only fallacious methodology, but also an insufficient critical lens with which to view this poem.

When investigating the role of industry and its consequences in the landscape that Wordsworth observes, it's important to consider both time and place, and note industry's positional relation to Wordsworth. Scholars are quick to criticize Wordsworth's environmentalism, humanitarianism, and failure to acknowledge poverty adequately in this poem—particularly in his handling of the "wreaths of smoke" (Line 18), "vagrant dwellers" (Line 22), and "hermits" (Line 23). However, these criticisms are often built upon a mislocation and misorientation of Wordsworth and contemporaneous industry, as well as misperiodization of history. While ecocriticism, the role of industry, and Wordsworth's interaction with poverty are all extremely valid and important topics to consider in this poem, it is our responsibility as dedicated and truth-seeking readers, scholars, and educators to take a step back and ensure that these criticisms are correctly placed.

Where this edition stands

This scholarly edition is keenly sensitive to these small, but significant nuances in locospecific industrial, political, socio-economic, and even tourism history. Taking all of these factors into consideration, this edition supports David Mial's assertion that the area surrounding Symonds Yat substantially inspired the poem, and contains the sources of the highlighted landscape features, including the river's "sweet inland murmur" (Line 4), and "sounding cataract" (Line 79), as well as "the tall rock" (Line 80), "steep and lofty cliffs" (Line 5), "deep and gloomy wood" (Line 81), and the "dark sycamore" (Line 10). The village of Symonds Yat also contains the cultivated "plots of cottage ground" and "pastoral farms." While there is enough evidence to place the poem exclusively at Symonds Yat, it is worthwhile to note that the Wordsworths' modes of transportation—walking on foot and riding by boat—enabled them to experience a variety of landscapes between their launch point of crossing the Severn Estuary, their furthest northward and inland trek to Goodrich Castle, as well their return journey back to Bristol, in which Wordsworth recalls he composed the poem. Any or all of these particular landscapes may have directly or indirectly inspired the poem, but Symonds Yat maintains the most explicit connections to the physical features of the landscape mentioned in the poem. This edition does include multimedia illuminating the landscapes within the 17-mile range between Tintern Abbey and Symonds Yat, but a majority of media and contextual information is based on the locus of Symonds Yat.

Why Symonds Yat?

The topographical features of Symonds Yat correspond with all of the features of the wild and cultivated landscape described in the poem, and match Wordsworth's editorial notes about the River Wye's movement. According to 18th and 19th-century travel trends and guidebook recommendations, Symonds Yat was a popular tourist destination, and would have served as a practical pit stop for the siblings to and/or from Goodrich Castle. Furthermore, there is some evidence of charcoal manufacturing furnaces in the immediate vicinity, which may validate some of the scholarly conversations about the connection between the "wreathes of smoke" (Line 18) Wordsworth observes and influence of industry.

The Features

If you were standing on the east bank of Symonds Yat, you would be able to observe all of the wild and cultivated landscapes described in the poem. Facing south down the Wye, the "tall rock" (Line 80) can be seen emerging from the "steep and lofty cliffs" (Line 5), which were once known as the "Doward Rocks" on the east bank of the river. In this direction you could also hear the river's "sweet inland murmur" (Line 4), created by a small cascade. As Miall point outs, this murmur becomes a "sounding cataract" (Line 79) when observed up-close. Facing east, the ancient Forest of Dean or "deep and gloomy wood" (Line 81) rises above the river, while "dark Sycamore" trees (Line 10), "pastoral farms" (Line 17), and "plots of cottage ground" (Line 11), line the banks and hills.

Honoring The Original Text

Symonds Yat's lack of tidal movements makes it a strong candidate for area described in this poem. According to Wordsworth's clarifying note for Line 4, the tide from the Severn Estuary does not affect the River Wye at the location he is describing. The River Wye was and remains tidal all around Tintern Abbey, and continues to affect river movements farther north and interior in the valley, but ceases before the river's sharp turns at Symonds Yat. Though some may doubt Wordsworth's hydrographic knowledge, this note is as relevant to the poem as the text itself. It is represented in the original published text, and therefore deserves our consideration.

The Tourist Attraction

The town and surrounding area of Symonds Yat, formerly known as the New Weir, was a popular tourist destination in the 18th and 19th centuries. It was featured in several travel guidebooks, including Observations on the River Wye (1782) by William Gilpin and Reverend Richard Warner's A Walk Through Wales (1798). Gilpin's Observations has long been hailed the most influential to "Tintern Abbey's" composition, and is often referenced in analyses about the poem's landscape and Wordsworth's journey.

Rev. Richard Warner's A Walk Through Wales also contains deep connections to "Tintern Abbey," for the Wordsworths had visited Warner in Bristol immediately prior to their journey to the Wye. According to Duncan Wu, the Wordsworths likely brought a copy of Warner's recently published A Walk Through Wales with them on their own journey, and potentially even followed his travel route (See John Bard McNulty's "Wordsworth's Tour of the Wye: 1798").

Within a larger sample of 18th and 19th-century travel literature and tourism, David Miall discovered no existing travel account of a journey between Monmouth and Goodrich castle that bypasses Symonds Yat—it is mentioned consistently throughout all accounts. Given the overwhelming popularity of this location, as well as the Wordsworths' assumed knowledge of this it, gained from Gilpin, Warner, and probably other works of travel literature, it is entirely plausible that the Wordsworths stopped here.

En Route

Warner-and-Wordsworth-Route.jpg Rev. Richard Warner's Route depicted in A Walk Through Wales that Dorothy and William likely followed, according to David Miall and Richard Roe.

Furthermore, Symonds Yat was en route on Dorothy and William's trek from Monmouth to Goodrich Castle. Regardless of whether Dorothy and William followed Warner's route or followed the advice of travel books, they would have traveled directly through Symonds Yat in order to go "through" Monmouth up to Goodrich Castle, as William recollects in his memoir (Memoirs 118-119).



". . . The next morning we walked along the river through Monmouth to Goodrich Castle there slept, and returned the next day to Tintern . . . "

With a 10-12 mile walk from Tintern to Monmouth, and another 7 to Goodrich Castle, a rest stop in Symonds Yat seems logical. The Wordsworth siblings were notorious for their long walks that often reached upwards of 20-30 miles. For this practiced walking duo, the 17 miles between Tintern and Symonds Yat could easily be described as only "a few," comparatively, which would support the poem's descriptive title of "a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey."

Annotation Media and Contextual Information

The following multimedia and contextual information highlights the locodescriptive elements of "Tintern Abbey," which you can choose to consider during your reading and analysis of the poem. You can access these resources through the poem's annotations and in the media and information pages located in the navigation menu at the top of each page.

Visual Media

Digital Edition(s) of Lyrical Ballads

When you first enter the site, you will notice digital images of "Tintern Abbey" from an original 1798 edition of Lyrical Ballads have been juxtaposed next to the diplomatically transcribed and annotated version of the poem. Placing these versions next to each other is an act of transparency to reveal my dedication to accurately representing the original text in this digital scholarly edition. These images may lead to further research and analysis of the poem's publication style and format, and their impacts on the textual content.

Digital scans and a complete digital edition of Lyrical Ballads enable you to view the poem as it was first published in its original textual context of Lyrical Ballads. One the Lyrical Ballads Page you can browse through the entire volume and even download it as a PDF.

The digital scans and digital edition were generously created and provided by the Armstrong Browning Library at Baylor University.

You can compare these PDF scans with digitized facsimile copies of the 1798 Lyrical Ballads, and compare the 1798 facsimile with the 1800, 1802, and 1805 editions here. You can compare editions side-by-side to trace the development of the volume and "Tintern Abbey" over the years.

High-Resolution Photos, Videos, and 360° Street-view Images

Go to Comprehensive Gallery

Browse current high-resolution photos and videos of the Wye Valley landscape to enrich your understanding of and experience with the landscape. Many annotations direct you to photo albums in Google Photos, but you can view a comprehensive gallery by clicking the Photos and Videos icon in the navigation menu. You can also use these images as reference points for comparisons with 18th and 19th-century artwork and literature that captures the same landscape. All photographic material was captured on my trip to the Wye Valley in July 2016.

Artwork of the Area

Go to Artwork Page

I have collected (and digitized with permission, where necessary) several works of art that depict the Wye Valley during the 18th and 19th centuries. Works include prints by Samuel Ireland, original water-colored sketches by William Gilpin, sketches and paintings by J.M.W. Turner, as well as the watercolors of several lesser-known artists.

Travel Literature

Travel Writing

To better situate this poem in the growing age of travel and travel literature, I have provided links to digital editions of influential travel accounts that feature the Wye Valley. The most notable digital editions include Reverend Richard Warner's A Walk Through Wales and William Gilpin's Observations on the River Wye. I have also provided images of Gilpin's descriptions and water-colored prints of the area around the New Weir. To promote further investigation of 18th and 19th-century travel literature, and its connection with Wordsworth and this poem. I have compiled a list of several other descriptive accounts of the Wye Valley around this time.

Manuscript Documents

Manuscripts

With special contribution from The Wordsworth Trust, I have collected several manuscript documents related to "Tintern Abbey," including photographs of a few pages of Wordsworth's Alfoxden Notebook that may have inspired language used in the poem, particularly the "forms of beauty" in Line 26. I also stumbled upon a few lines of "Tintern Abbey" inscribed on the paste-down of a book cover from Wordsworth's personal library, which beckons further investigation. You can also view various editions of Lyrical Ballads, compare and contrast them, and download the PDF on this page.

Line 26 of "Tintern Abbey"
Alfoxden Notebook by William Wordsworth
The Wordsworth Trust

Maps of the Area

Maps

This digital edition of "Tintern Abbey" offers you the unique opportunity to explore and compare current Google Maps of the Wye Valley with various historical maps between 1780-1880. These historical maps are hosted and organized by Old Maps Online, which focuses your view around Symonds Yat on the border region of Herefordshire and Gloucestershire. With certain maps you can also overlay historical maps onto a current Google Map, and change its opacity to help you trace the changes in landscape and geography over time.

An Accurate Map of Herefordshire by Emanuel Bowen
1755
Bibliothek Münstergasse, Universität Bern

Digital Editions of Referenced or Alluded Texts in the Poem

Wordsworth's allusions to other texts in his poem are available via links to digital editions in relevant annotations. Since identifying and analyzing allusions frequently relies on interpretation, I have provided the primary sources for some of these potential connections so that you can determine for yourself if and how they connect with the poem.

Scholarly Contextual Material

Bibliographic information

Since this online learning and teaching tool is fundamentally a scholarly edition, I have included a comprehensive bibliography to provide you with scholarship, media, and other informational sources that contribute to the poem's annotations and gallery pages. The annotations frequently provide links to specific items on the Scholarship page to encourage further reading and investigation. Bibliographic entries follow proper MLA guidelines and are organized alphabetically. However, I have created additional source groups for particularly large or controversial subjects, such as Wordsworth's connections with religion and his relationship with Dorothy.

Biographical info

Many annotations provide biographical information about Wordsworth's peers, family, and contemporaries, as well as authors of referenced texts. The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography is the most credible source on biographies,but unfortunately is less accessible to the general public. However, most public libraries and educational institutions have subscriptions to this service, and can be accessed through those servers. This scholarly edition devoutly supports open-access learning, but in this particular situation, accuracy of information must be prioritized.

The Picturesque

William Gilpin's concept of the picturesque has a considerable presence in "Tintern Abbey," largely because the same Wye Valley landscape inspired Gilpin to define the characteristics of the picturesque. Most readers of "Tintern Abbey"—students, scholars, and teachers alike—attempt to systematize and standardize these characteristics, and then determine which of these characteristics appear in the poem by using extant theory, and/or by evaluating how "Tintern Abbey" measures up to these standards.

However, this assessment is erroneous, because it supposes that Gilpin's proposed characteristics are the sole foundation of the picturesque, and that painting, nature, and the picturesque are all platonically mimetic. Gilpin's theory is far more complicated than the characteristics of the picturesque suggest. Even though Gilpin claims that in the picturesque we apply the rules of painting to nature and vice versa (Gilpin 1), he later contradicts these claims in his discussion of the artistic process behind the picturesque, which requires a degree of edification and revision for the sake of harmony. The fluidity and dynamism of the picturesque is fundamental to this theory, which Gilpin demonstrates himself when he watercolors the prints in his personal copy of Observations and defends his actions in a recently unearthed "Advertisement" he added to the beginning of his copy.

If we instead examine how this process of the picturesque relates to "Tintern Abbey," we find that the act creating the picturesque is quite similar to Wordsworth's process of revising thoughts, images, and emotions through his poetic and imaginative processes. Wordsworth describes this process in the 1802 Preface to Lyrical Ballads, and demonstrates it throughout "Tintern Abbey," as he (the speaker) recollects and refines images of and experiences with the Wye Valley landscape in his mind. Wordsworth's imaginative process then becomes like Gilpin's water-coloring: reimagining images and adding "richness," "variety," and "distinction to the objects"—all for the sake of creating a sense and picture of harmony. To read a larger version of this analysis click here.

Copyright and Fair Use Information

Most content on this website is original material. All photos and videos are my own artistic products, and many contextual annotations are based on my own scholarly analysis. For material that is not mine, I have linked to original sources such as digital editions that have been published by open-access repositories, such as Archive.com and HathiTrust. Rare manuscript materials were generously provided by The Wordsworth Trust. I have obtained permission from the Trust curator, Jeff Cowton, to publish these materials online. All website material is moderated by Brennan Saddler and hosted on Kansas State University servers.

Editorial Procedures

The first step of creating a scholarly edition requires conducting extensive research. I collected, analyzed, and synthesized a multitude of scholarly, historical, and literary sources about the poem, 18th and 19th-century travel literature, the Wye Valley, and Wordsworth's life, in order to provide you with the most relevant information about "Tintern Abbey" and its deep connection to place.

In the Summer of 2016 I performed fieldwork in England and Wales to develop and acquire more information about the Wye Valley and the Wordsworth's time spent there. I conducted interviews and gathered testimonies from Wye Valley locals about the Wye's history and connection with Wordsworth. Based on recommendations from these interviews and my own research findings, I embarked on several substantial hiking excursions among the hills and along the Wye to capture high resolution photographs, videos, and 360° Street-View Images of the landscape as Wordsworth may have seen it.

I then traveled to The Wordsworth Trust in Wordsworth's hometown of Grasmere in the Lake District, where I studied his physical 18th and 19th-century artifacts and manuscripts, and later digitized photographs of some of these items. After the photo media was uploaded into file folders, it was minimally retouched and published into albums in Google Photos. All links to these albums, and to all other external links, were organized into an Excel database for future incorporation into annotations.

Photography Tools:
Photos: Captured with a Sony Cybershot DSC-HX400
Videos: Captured with a GoPro Hero4 and Sony Cybershot DSC-HX400
Street-View Images: Captured and Developed using Google Street View Application for iPhone

Photo and Video Editing Software:
Adobe LightRoom (CC 2015.6)
Adobe Photoshop (CC 2015.5)
Adobe Premiere Pro (CC 2015.3)

Online Image Hosting: Google Photos

Once I identified and collected the information and media to include in this project, I had to determine how I wanted to present this information online. I developed numerous prototypes of web pages and, and experimented with various designs with Adobe Photoshop. I uploaded these creations into the InvisionApp web prototyping tool, which enabled me to create clickable spaces and added functionality to the uploaded pages. This clickable space tool allowed the uploaded pages to communicate with one another, and with external links. This live demo became the model from which I wrote the actual webpage code.

Initial Web Design Planning: Adobe Photoshop (CC 2015.5)
Prototype Software: InvisionApp

Once I collected my data and had an operative prototype, I developed a structural and functional framework for the website. I consulted coding textbooks and demo videos to judiciously build this open-source online tool from scratch, using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. After encoding the poem and its annotations with HTML, and applying CSS to display annotations when hovering over tagged text, I designed this final web structure to be compatible with the Extensible Markup Language (XML) encoded poem and its annotations.

Website structure: HTML
Style and formatting: CSS
Functionality: Java Script and JQuery 3.1.1.
Web Coding Software: Atom for Mac

The diplomatic transcription of the poem and accompanying annotations were developed using Extensible Markup Language (XML). XML is the standard markup language for digital and scholarly editing, and provides a series of directions to format the text in a way that represents the original as closely as possible. XML is independent of specific hardware, software, and web browsers, and can be re-appropriated and reformatted into other web languages and digital projects. When using standardized TEI terminology to encode structural information such as line and stanza numbers, word repetition, language choice, as well as literary elements, such as similes and themes, this information is represented universally the same way. Annotations were integrated into the markup of the poem with the < note/> tag. This tag incorporates the annotations into the framework of the poem, which means they too can be interpreted universally by different web browsers.

XML Markup Software: Oxygen for Mac

The final step of this process required a data transfer of website code and media onto the K-State servers. From this point forward, the website was officially live.

Collaboration is the heart of the digital humanities, and this project would not have been possible without the amazing support of the following people and organizations:

  • The most supportive and enthusiastic Master's Project Committee I could have ever imagined, including:
  • Mark Crosby (Major Professor): Whose unfailing faith in this project, and combined expertise in Romanticism and the Digital Humanities guided this entire journey
  • Dr. Anne Longmuir (2nd Reader and Director of Graduate Studies): Whose open mind and office door was of great comfort and inspiration during this process. Her broad knowledge of the long 19th century helped situate this project in its dynamic literary period
  • Dr. Shirley Tung (3rd Reader): For her exceptional knowledge of travel literature and for helping me envision exciting uses for this project in the classroom
  • Kansas State University: For its phenomenal English Department, investment in this project by way of Summer 2016 and Spring 2017 travel grants, and for hosting this final product on its servers
  • Drew Thomas: For serving as my web development consultant and for patiently answering my many amateurish questions, while remaining one of my dearest friends through it all
  • Dr. Joshua King, Baylor University: For his radical kindness, recommendations for scholarly sources, constant encouragement, and overall excitement to help bring this project into fruition
  • The Armstrong Browning Library at Baylor University: For scanning their 1798 edition of Lyrical Ballads, providing PDFs of these scans, and compiling a complete digital edition of the volume
  • Jeff Cowton and the incredible staff at The Wordsworth Trust: For permitting me to examine and publish these extraordinary manuscript documents, and for making possible the amazing experience of reading Wordsworth's journal at his own table
  • Olivia Mills, Olivia Claire Designs: For her constant compassion, faith, and spectacular design advice. My favorite fellow wanderer who continually reminds me of the value of this project and the power of sacred spaces.
  • Arix King: For his extremely helpful design suggestions that enriched the navigation accessibility and design flow of this website
  • Annika and Ian at The Tintern Old Rectory: For their generous advice, hospitality, out-of-this-world breakfast, maps, and driving service to Symonds Yat. And to Ian, especially, for the history lessons and for relaying some of Tintern's beautiful oral history. And let's not forget their canine friends, Pookie and LuLu, who offered love and companionship on the dreary days.
  • If you ever make your way through the Wye, consider staying with these lovely folks at The Tintern Old Rectory, which Wordsworth may have seen along his walking path from Tintern to Monmouth in 1798!
  • Sudarshana and Pankaja Srinivasan: For their unexpected, but oh so cherished friendship. Not long after meeting at breakfast one morning at the Old Rectory, we shared the beauty and sublimity of a literary pilgrimage to Symonds Yat, and marveled at Wordsworth's sacred landscape together. Much like Dorothy was for William, Sudarshana and Pankaja are as much a part of my experience with this landscape as the physical features themselves. In these special moments of reverie, we developed the bonds of what I hope will be a life-long friendship.
  • Paddy of Paddy's Cabs: For quite literally going the extra mile (and hour, for that matter) for me on my second journey to Symonds Yat, and for the informative and entertaining companionship throughout our drives. If you're ever along the Wye and in need of a ride, call Paddy for your taxi service needs.
    Phone: 01600772882 or 07964928181
    Email: wheatleypl@hotmail.co.uk