‘I May Write My name’: A Collector’s Fog-Born Elf

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In a personal essay about cultic misprision of a manuscript leaf holding on one side Keats’s Sonnet to Sleep. Susan Wolfson tells a story of collecting, auctioning, and sales, from its composition in June 1820, a May 1829 auction, to news published in 1933, to eventual arrival in the Berg Collection in the New York Public Library. Various players include John Hamilton Reynolds, Sir John Bowring, wily bookseller William T. Spencer, the first and long-term curator of the Keats Memorial House in Hampstead, Fred Edgcumbe, and industrialist, diplomat, and bibliophile Owen D. Young. Although Wolfson is the principle author of this essay, it reflects considerable collaborative advice from Keats scholars John Barnard and Nicholas Roe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-27
Number of pages16
JournalKeats-Shelley Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Literature and Literary Theory


  • Fred Edgcumbe
  • John Hamilton Reynolds
  • John Keats
  • Sir John Bowring
  • Sonnet to Sleep
  • Willard B. Pope
  • William T. Spencer


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