A Transcription Puzzle: “then She bore Pale desire”, Part 2

By Andrea H. Everett

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The other week, I posted an entry concerning my transcription of a set of manuscript pages beginning “then She bore Pale desire”. At the bottom of one of the pages, what seems to be an abbreviation is written in pencil marks that have either faded over time or were initially written with a series of light strokes. Here’s the image again:

My initial guess was “EscS.”. However, I was not comfortable with this reading for several reasons, and so I contacted Blake scholar Dr. Alexander Gourlay. Sandy agreed that the final letter is an “S” and provided this tracing of the other marks:

Sandy and I came to the conclusion that the first letter could be an “E” or a “P”. Given the above images, “E” might not be the obvious choice, but in this manuscript, Blake’s capital “E”s often resemble a standard capital letter “P”. Take the following example:

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This word is “Eyeless”. I also believed the initial letter in question to be an “E” (as opposed to a “P”) because of the way in which the stroke at the bottom of the …read more

Source: http://blakearchive.wordpress.com/2014/05/21/a-transcription-puzzle-then-she-bore-pale-desire-part-2/