SWINBURNE'S POSTHUMOUS WRITINGS
WHEN Swinburne died, he left no directions, verbal or testamentary, with regard to the publication of any MSS. which might be found among his papers. Some final reflections on Shakespeare, written in 1905, although not published by the Oxford University Press until 1909, had been arranged for by their author some time before his fatal illness. Watts-Dunton had nothing whatever to do with either the genesis or completion of this book, which was composed in response to a request from the publishers, and was delivered to the press many months before its posthumous appearance. The publishers held it back, until the poet's death incited them to a hasty publication. But Watts-Dunton discovered various writings, both in verse and prose, several of which were essentially more important than the little treatise on Shakespeare. All were found at The Pines, although in different places. They belong to widely different epochs in the poet's life; some, no doubt, had been rejected by him, and yet preserved, perhaps with some lingering idea of future adaptation or resuscitation.
Soon after Swinburne's death, Watts-Dunton consulted Mr. Thomas J. Wise, whose Swinburne collection is the finest in existence, as to the best manner of preserving the unpublished MSS., until the time should be ripe for their regular publication in suitable collected volumes. It was decided that it would be a pity to disperse them in magazines, while at the same time it was highly