This is the first critical study of Romantic-era annotation or marginalia - footnotes, endnotes, glossaries - which formed a vital site of literary interaction. Texts of this period were often marked by an abundance of ethnographic, linguistic and anthropological details about the people that the emerging British nation-state was seeking to absorb. Watson argues that writers tried to marginalize forms of political and regional identity that conflicted with the interests of the nation-state by locating them on the borders of the page. Using Wordsworth's Lyrical Ballads, Watson demonstrates that such paratexts were a pivotal site of political and colonial division in Romantic-period literature. Examining the work of key figures including Maria Edgeworth, Robert Southey and Walter Scott, the study will be important to scholars of Romanticism, the history of the book and post-colonial theory.
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