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The Life of William Wordsworth: A Critical Biography

The Life of William Wordsworth: A Critical Biography

John Worthen

ISBN: 978-0-470-65544-3

Apr 2014

500 pages

In Stock

$128.95

Description

By examining the family and financial circumstances of Wordsworth’s early years, this illuminating biography reshapes our understanding of the great Romantic poet’s most creative period of life and writing.

 

  • Features new research into Wordsworth’s financial situation, and into how the poet and his family survived financially
  • Offers a new understanding of the role of his great unwritten poem ‘The Recluse’
  • Presents a new assessment of the relationship between Wordsworth and Coleridge

List of Illustrations ix

Acknowledgments x

Abbreviations and Texts xii

Foreword: “The Prelude”: A Poem of My Own Life? xvii

Part I Early Years 1

1 Versions of Home: 1770–83 3

2 Hawkshead and Esthwaite: 1783–7 18

3 Cambridge: 1787–90 37

4 To the Alps: and What Followed: 1790–1 53

5 Annette Vallon, Michel de Beaupuy, and the Bishop of Llandaff: 1791–3 69

Part II Writer 91

6 Salisbury Plain and its Consequences: 1793–5 93

7 Racedown: 1795–7 113

8 Coleridge and Alfoxton: 1797–8 135 9

Lyrical Ballads: 1798 157

10 Hamburg to the Harz: 1798 173

11 Writing in Goslar: 1798–9 183

12 Sockburn to Grasmere: 1799–1800 198

Part III Town-End 213

13 “Home at Grasmere,” the “Ode,” “Michael”: 1800–1 215

14 Hurting: 1800–1 241

15 Marrying: 1801–2 249

16 Grasmere to Calais and on to Gallow Hill: 1802 265

17 Marriage, First Child, and the Trip to Scotland: 1802–3 284

18 “The Prelude” I: 1804 303

19 “The Prelude” II: 1804–5 315

20 “Elegiac Stanzas,” Poems, in Two Volumes : 1806–7 328

Part IV The Light of Common Day 341

21 “The Recluse” and The Convention of Cintra: 1808–9 343

22 Loss and Grief: 1809–12 356

23 Stamp-officer and Poet of The Excursion: 1812–14 368

24 “What though it be past”: 1814 387

Part V Sketches of Late Years 397

25 Poetry, Family, and Polemic: 1815–18 399 26

Peter Bell and “the ghosts of what they were”: 1819–26 407

27 “The Recluse” and “The Prelude”: 1827–33 418

28 The Past Enshrined: 1834–42 429

29 No Resting Place: 1843–50 439

Afterword 447

Bibliography 451

Index 457

“John Worthen’s engaging new biography of Wordsworth begins by quoting the poet’s recollection of himself at around the age of 10, surveying tall trees, black chasms, and dizzy crags: ‘I loved to stand and & read j Their looks forbidding’, he says, ‘read & disobey’ (p. 3). . . Worthen’s book is a revealing account of the consequences of that daring.”  (The Review of English Studies, 15 October 2014)