As records in the Digital Miscellanies Index (DMI) reveal, verse in miscellanies was printed without attribution or was attributed via descriptive epithets, pseudonyms, or partial indications of a poet's name at least as often as it was printed with a clear and unambiguous identification of an author. Any reader who wished to identify which works in a miscellany had been written by a particular poet often faced considerable difficulties. This article focuses on a small but significant group of poems that challenged miscellany readers interested in knowing whose works they were reading: those poems, the authorship of which was (or appeared to be) disputed. This article considers how, through accident or design, misattributions entered into and persisted in the printed record. Each case of disputed authorship provides insight into the reception history of the poem under discussion, as well as into the contribution that miscellanies made to the shaping of authorial reputations.
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Jennifer Batt; “I Know Not Who Was the Author”: Disputed Authorship in the Digital Miscellanies Index. Eighteenth-Century Life 1 January 2017; 41 (1): 142–157. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00982601-3695972
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