Foul copy

a rough draught, with erasures and corrections; - opposed to fair or clean copy.

See also: Foul

References in classic literature ?
Papers were lying about upon his desk, and he had commenced the foul copy of a letter which showed, by the numerous erasures, the trouble he had had in writing it.
Drawing from the definitions in the OED of the noun form of the word, she lists meanings such as "physically loathsome," "putridity," "affected with disease," "putrid food," even "lazy animal," "foul copy," and, through punning, "fool" (61).
As I will show, throughout the pages of the Thraliana, Piozzi presents herself as a kind of manuscript, what in the eighteenth century would have been called a foul copy, a term that refers specifically to manuscripts "defaced by corrections." (5) Piozzi's Thraliana, a miscellaneous collection of what she repeatedly calls "nonsense," thus is made up of the very stuff so often lost to history.
It is in this way, by "living life twice over," that Hester Piozzi imagines herself as a work (or, more precisely, a collection of works) in process, a foul copy with indeterminacy as its trademark.
In one entry in December of 1780, she declares her shock and horror upon seeing "a sort of literary Curiosity amongst us; the foul Copy of Pope's Homer, with all his old Intended Verses, Sketches, emendations, &c." While Johnson thinks "'tis pleasant to see the progress of such a Mind," Piozzi is at first curious and then mortified:
For her, the foul copy is dangerous precisely because it exposes its author, leaves him or her out in the open: naked, monstrous, and half made-up.
By laying bare the "Wood & Wire" beneath the surface of self-writing, she invites us to look on in voyeuristic pleasure and horror at her and the foul copy she has created and to take, we might say, "a malicious Pleasure, Such as Men feel when they watch a Woman at her Toilet."
(27) That is, like Piozzi, and like the curious foul copy of Pope's Homer that Piozzi finds so monstrous, the Johnson we meet in the Thraliana is a kind of work in process "with all the old Intended Verses, Sketches, emendations, &c." laid bare for all to see.
Piozzi seeks to expose the "foul copy" of Samuel Johnson, an unfinished, in-process version to which only she had access.
The Thraliana thus puts a finer point on Derrida's "heritage that drives you crazy": it is literary history that keeps in constant view the "defacement" and deformity, the foul copy underwriting the fair.
Grace Ioppolo analyzes correspondence and other records relating to a breach of promise between the dramatist Robert Daborne and Philip Henslowe in 1613 and 1614 to show that Henslowe and his competitors strongly preferred to receive "fair" copies of contracted plays rather than "foul," and then tests her theory on Thomas Heywood's autograph manuscript of The Captives (British Library, Egerton MS 1994), which she describes as a foul copy. Her arguments in this important essay are almost entirely encapsulated in her subsequent book, Dramatists and their Manuscripts, which I will address later.