INSPIRED: #amediting


The 1818-20 manuscript of Lord Byron’s Don Juan, filled with his editing marks, additions and deletions.

I’m busy editing the manuscript of my Civil War novel. Cutting and pasting, rewriting and rethinking. Oh yes, and occasionally cussing over why I can’t keep things straight in Scrivener. (I’m learning!)

So I laughed when I came across this photo from my visit to the Morgan Library in New York last December. When Lord Byron was editing his 1818-20 manuscript of his  Don Juan, a satirical poem in 156 cantos. I may be checking my facts and cleaning up my grammar. But Lord Byron had to scribble his corrections out on paper and then he added stanzas perpendicular to the rest of his work so his manuscript looked something like one of those word search puzzles — a really complicated one. And he had to revise to keep his language all in the right rhyme scheme, ottava prima.

Looking at this page makes my job seem a lot easier.

But I still want to get it right. Right?

Ⓒ Photo and text Mary K. Tilghman

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