Considering the future directions of scholarship for Victorian literature, Andrew Stauffer warns that no Victorian author “will long command serious critical attention without solid editions upon which new generations of readers can be raised,” adding that such “editorial work and textual criticism are not optional, second-order exercises to be performed after critical fame is secure: they are absolutely fundamental to establishing the existence of a [writer] for a modern audience of critics and students” (Stauffer 527). When we approached this challenge à propos of Walter Pater, there were two questions we first had to wrestle with: what kind of edition is best suited for Pater? And, how would we determine the copy-text for the collected works of his varied canon? Our principal exercise was to compare different editions of the texts he oversaw, an examination of textual variants that likely will change the way in which many people have been reading Pater. Collations of his textual variants dispel the myth that his first iteration is fresher and bolder, that his revisions reveal a timorous Pater shying away from controversy.