A Note on the Text

Amours de Voyage was originally published in 1858 in the American journal, the Atlantic Monthly, now known simply as The Atlantic. It appeared in four serial installments in issues four through seven of volume one of the periodical. In 1862, shortly after Clough’s death, Amours de Voyage was published again in book form along with a selection of his other works—one edition in England and one in the United States. While many editions of Amours de Voyage use one of the two 1862 publications as their primary textual witness, this edition presents the text as it originally appeared in the Atlantic Monthly. The choice of which edition to employ as primary textual witness has been a polarizing problem for past editors, as described, for example, by editor Frederick Mulhauser in the preface to his second edition of The Poems of Arthur Hugh Clough. In an attempt neither to exclude materials that may be of interest to readers nor to interfere with the original text, all major changes and additions from the 1862 versions have been noted in annotations in this edition. We feel that this provides both a comprehensive and accurate version of the text. Our choice to use the 1858 version of the text as the primary witness is informed by the following, which will be elaborated upon below:

  1. The text’s origin in an American periodical sheds light on the transatlantic nature of Clough’s work.
  2. A lack of clarity surrounding the editorial process for the 1862 editions suggests that the original 1858 publication is more accurate to Clough’s own intentions for the text as they were upon original publication.
  3. The Victorian periodical genre of which the original text was a part entails sociopolitical ramifications that speak to the present edition’s use of the emerging genre of the digital edition (and specifically the COVE digital edition), as explained in the concluding paragraph below.


 Although Clough is now categorized as a primarily British poet, it is important to note the transatlantic nature of his work and notoriety as an author. Upon arriving in the U.S. in 1852, Clough wrote in his journal of his surprise at being recognized as the “celebrated author of ‘The Bothie,’ a whole edition of which was printed and sold, they say, here!” (qtd. in Mulhauser xvi). Building close ties with American writers and editors, Clough went on to publish Amours de Voyage in the Boston-based Atlantic Monthly, which became both his first paid writing endeavor and a new level of exposure to the American reading audience through the newly minted yet already widely popular Atlantic.

The founders of the Atlantic were of the Yankee humanist circle, and former Atlantic editor Ellery Sedgewick notes that the Atlantic  was one expression of the Yankee humanist’s sense of mission to civilize and humanize America, to promote high culture as a source of values, to encourage public knowledge of both the traditional canon and contemporary writing, to debate and establish intellectual and moral standards in American politics and social life as well as literature…[,] to propagate these standards through education, and to stimulate further cultural production. (Sedgewick 8)

The founding circle, including editor Francis Underwood, publisher Moses Phillips, along with Ralph Waldo Emerson, Oliver Wendell Holmes, James Russel Lowell, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and others (Sedgewick 3), set out to create a periodical that would not directly support any political opinions. Slavery was the exception since the founders were highly influenced by a desire to form a platform to speak out against it.[1]

Near the end of his life, Clough was pressed by an American friend, Charles Eliot Norton, to transform his body of work into a collected published edition. Mulhauser writes that “[a]ll the material [for Clough’s collected edition] seems to have been in Norton’s hands by the end of 1860” (xiv). This material was used to create two printed editions entitled Poems of Arthur Hugh Clough, Sometime Fellow of Oriel College, Oxford. With Memoir, one published in Boston by Thomas Y. Crowell & Company, and the other published simultaneously in London by MacMillan. These two editions print Amours de Voyage nearly identically (save for British and American spelling) and have acted as textual witness for a majority of reprints of this work.

One might argue that, since Clough revised his work before his death and gave it to Norton, who published it after Clough’s death, we should use the 1862 versions as textual witness in subsequent editions. A complication arises, however, in the preparation of the revised manuscript. Mulhauser, after looking over the physical archives of Clough’s materials, writes, “[t]he notes which Clough made as he thought about the projected edition, his revisions in the texts, as well as the instructions which he sent to Norton, were occasionally contradictory or unclear” (vi). Because of the lack of clarity Norton had with which to proceed in creating the edition after Clough had died, Clough’s wife, Blanche Mary Shore Smith, joined Norton as editor of the remaining manuscripts. Mulhauser notes that, while she brought intimate knowledge of Clough’s work, she “also brought her personal and social attitudes, and her personal intentions for her edition. A further complication is that, in the successive editions of the poetry that she prepared, she added new poems, regrouped the old ones, supplied titles, and, in a few instances, altered the previously published texts. As a result, Mulhauser finds, “no definitive printed text for Clough’s poetry is available with which early drafts and later revisions may be collated” (vi).

In the 1862 editions, which are based on Clough’s contradictory and difficult-to-decipher revisions, notes, and instructions to Norton, notable changes included the addition of entire stanzas and the addition of other lines throughout the poem, along with multiple changes in word choice and punctuation. In this edition, original punctuation and individual word choice from the 1858 edition have been retained without annotations noting these minor differences, but the major changes in entire lines and stanzas have been noted.

The use of COVE Editions for this edition of Amours de Voyage allows a unique approach to the text. Because of the annotation feature, which does not display annotations unless clicked, the original text of the Atlantic edition may be presented while also including the later additions of lines and stanzas in a non-intrusive manner through the annotations. While footnotes in print books may be intrusive to the reader, especially when including entire stanzas, and endnotes require the interruption of flipping through pages away from the original text, our digital edition allows for a seamless presentation of both the 1858 Atlantic text as well as the 1862 additions as a secondary textual witness. This way, we can privilege the 1858 text that is likely closest to Clough’s original intended presentation of the work while not withholding the later additions from the posthumous edited collections.

The rise of the periodical press was motivated by a capitalist system fueled by the Industrial Revolution that allowed for the printing of large quantities of material for a low price, and publishers profited from focusing their production efforts on periodicals over books. Driven by capitalism as it may have been, however, the resulting print culture also benefited the masses. It opened access to literature and information to lower classes in a non-cost-prohibitive way. Similarly, the rise of online publishing in the twenty-first century was certainly driven by systems of capital as publishing text online cut costs of production, but just as the periodical expanded access to lower classes, online publishing has expanded access to information. Universities pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to subscribe to academic databases and journals, after which only university-affiliated readers can access those library subscriptions. COVE aims to democratize knowledge, providing access to texts with only a minimal fee to sustain the project. This opens access to those outside of academia as well as those conscious of and working against the exploitative library subscription system that privileges commercial publishers over content producers and readers. By publishing our edition via COVE and utilizing the serialized Atlantic edition of Amours de Voyage as our primary textual witness, we hope to add new perspective to Clough’s legacy and at the same time pay homage to the generative genre of the periodical and to its culture of inclusive access to literature and information.



[1] As progressive as the Atlantic proclaimed to be, it is important to note that it was a product of its time and thereby tainted by its embeddedness in Western imperial culture, which blinded it to issues ranging from colonial discourse to slavery and human rights violations abroad, as evidenced by a highly orientalist article on Chinese tea that appears in the same issue as the initial serial iteration of Amours de Voyage.