The Romantic author as spontaneous, extemporizing, otherworldly, and autonomous is a fiction much in need of revision. In this highly regarded volume, Zachary Leader argues that the continuing influence of a Romantic preference for what comes naturally, with a concomitant devaluing of thesecondary processes, distorts our understanding of the actual creative practices of writers of the period, even those most closely associated with Romantic assumptions. `Second thoughts' (including those of collaborators) play a crucial role in the writings of Wordsworth, Byron, Coleridge, MaryShelley, Clare, and Keats. Other assumptions complicated by a study of the actual revising practices of Romantic writers are those which associate composition with the organic and with process, or which characterize authors as independent agents or figures of coherent and consistent subjectivity. In the first part of thebook, Leader shows how revisionary and editorial habits (those not only of the writers themselves but of their modern editors) reflect conflicting attitudes to the self or personal identity; in the second, these attitudes are related to the role of `collaborators' in the revising process, includingfamily, friends, publishers, critics, and readers.