First World War Poetry Digital Archive

Introduction to Stage I

Comparing the Manuscript Images

In the next section you will be able to view and compare images (facsimiles) of the three manuscripts of 'Strafe'. Any combination of pairs of manuscript images can be compared and contrasted. Once you have decided on a base manuscript (see below) use the Next link beneath the manuscript images to continue to stage II.

Choosing a Base Manuscript

At the heart of your edition will be the base manuscript. This is the manuscript (also known as a 'witness') of the poem which you feel to be most representative of authorial intention, i.e. the closest to the version Ivor Gurney meant for publication. There are many things you can base this decision on, for example:

In addition one of the manuscripts is by Gurney's close friend, Marion Scott. Gurney wrote to her throughout the war sending her drafts of his poems which she copied and 'tidied up'. In this sense then, Scott could be seen as a second 'scribe'. Can you tell which manuscript is by her by the handwriting and other clues?