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Holograph draft of 'Binsey Poplars', poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins

 Single Item
MS. Eng. c. 8235
Held at the Weston Library

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Digital surrogate of the holograph draft of 'Binsey Poplars'

Digital surrogate of the holograph draft of 'Binsey Poplars'
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Written mostly in ink on three sides of a bifolium, the manuscript reveals extensive autograph deletions, revisions and repetitions. Fol. 1 recto is a lightly amended fair copy of lines 1-16 as eventually published. The draft continues onto fol. 2 recto where the closing lines of the poem are heavily reworked from 'To mend her we end her' to the subsequently discarded line 'Other Springs, more Summers / cannot render'. This is followed by two more discarded lines and an unamended fair copy of the last five lines as published; both versions dated 'Oxford. March 13 1879' (with first date crossed out).

On fol. 1 verso are five hitherto unrecorded lines, beginning 'Other Springs, fresh Summers', written in ink over a pencil draft and then scored through by Hopkins. They are followed by five lightly-amended lines beginning 'Will Springs or Summers'. These reworkings were intended to precede the last lines of the poem, 'Ten or twelve, only ten or twelve'. There are numerous stress marks characteristic of the poet throughout. Fol. 2 verso is blank.


  • Creation: 1879


2 Leaves

Language of Materials

  • English

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Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. Eng. c. 8235].

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MS. Eng. c. 8235

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 7276


Holograph draft of 'Binsey Poplars', poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins

Biographical / Historical

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889), English poet, studied at Oxford where he was tutored by Benjamin Jowett and Walter Pater and met his future editor Robert Bridges. He converted to Catholicism in 1866 and entered the Society of Jesus in 1868, although he could not progress in the order due to failing his final theology exam. After various curateships he settled in Dublin where he taught Greek and Latin at the Royal University of Ireland. He died here in 1889 with only a handful of his poems in print. For further biographical details see Dictionary of National Biography.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Bonhams, The Roy Davids Collection Part III, lot 224, 10 Apr 2013, with the help of the Friends of the Bodleian, V&A Purchase Grant Fund, Friends of the National Libraries and individual donors. The manuscript was previously in personal possession of Anthony Bertram Rota (1932-2009).

'Binsey Poplars' by Gerald Manley Hopkins
Finding aid prepared by Original catalogue by Judith Priestman. EAD version by Harriet Costelloe
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom