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William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth (1770-1850), British poet, credited with ushering in the English Romantic Movement with the publication of Lyrical Ballads(1798) in collaboration with Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

William Wordsworth was born on 7 April 1770 in Cockermouth, Cumberland, in the Lake District. His father was John Wordsworth, Sir James Lowther's attorney. The magnificent landscape deeply affected Wordsworth's imagination and gave him a love of nature. He lost his mother when he was eight and five years later his father. The domestic problems separated Wordsworth from his beloved and neurotic sister Dorothy, who was a very important person in his life.

With the help of his two uncles, Wordsworth entered a local school and continued his studies at Cambridge University. Wordsworth made his debut as a writer in 1787, when he published a sonnet in The European Magazine . In that same year he entered St. John's College, Cambridge, from where he took his B.A. in 1791.

During a summer vacation in 1790 Wordsworth went on a walking tour through revolutionary France and also traveled in Switzerland. On his second journey in France, Wordsworth had an affair with a French girl, Annette Vallon, a daughter of a barber-surgeon, by whom he had a illegitimate daughter Anne Caroline. The affair was basis of the poem "Vaudracour and Julia", but otherwise Wordsworth did his best to hide the affair from posterity.

In 1795 he met Coleridge. Wordsworth's financial situation became better in 1795 when he received a legacy and was able to settle at Racedown, Dorset, with his sister Dorothy.
Encouraged by Coleridge and stimulated by the close contact with nature, Wordsworth composed his first masterwork, Lyrical Ballads, which opened with Coleridge's "Ancient Mariner." About 1798 he started to write a large and philosophical autobiographical poem, completed in 1805, and published posthumously in 1850 under the title The Prelude.

Wordsworth spent the winter of 1798-99 with his sister and Coleridge in Germany, where he wrote several poems, including the enigmatic 'Lucy' poems. After return he moved Dove Cottage, Grasmere, and in 1802 married Mary Hutchinson. They cared for Wordsworth's sister Dorothy for the last 20 years of her life.

Wordsworth's second verse collection, Poems, In Two Volumes, appeared in 1807. Wordsworth's central works were produced between 1797 and 1808. His poems written during middle and late years have not gained similar critical approval. Wordsworth's Grasmere period ended in 1813. He was appointed official distributor of stamps for Westmoreland. He moved to Rydal Mount, Ambleside, where he spent the rest of his life. In later life Wordsworth abandoned his radical ideas and became a patriotic, conservative public man.

In 1843 he succeeded Robert Southey (1774-1843) as England's poet laureate. Wordsworth died on April 23, 1850.

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Poem: The World Is Too Much With Us by William Wordsworth

:hurray: Hey Guys It's my first time Here :) Can anyone help me by correcting my essay which contains an introductory sentence, support sentences and conclusion also give me a feedback, but someone who really does know literature? The question is: describe and explain one characteristics that is presented in the poem! In the poet of William Wordsworth " The World Is too much with us" who is an English poetry and one that is inspired by nature, he uses different characteristics of the great movement of Romanticism. The main Characteristic is the description of nature, he describes it as something damaged by the society. Among these descriptions: " The sea that bares her bosom ...

Geography's Influence on William Wordsworth

Hello. I have been working on a project for my British Literature class on how geography was an influence on William Wordsworth's poetry. If anyone knows of any other places that contribited to the creation of a poem, other than the ones I have listed, I would be very appreciative. Places: Dove Cottage Rydal Mount Alfoxden (Alfoxton) Tintern Abbey Lake Esthwaite Richmond, upon the Thames Thank you in advance!...

Romantic poetry (Wordsworth)

I am wondering what you all think of these poems? The Boy of Winander: Nutting: I read both of these out loud in the videos. The Boy of Winander is from the Fifth Book of Wordsworth's Prelude (one of my favorite parts. Nutting is another autobiographical poem written is that Wordsworthian style of guilt an the innocence of youth and the personification of nature (in this case, a tree). I am currently writing a 25 page term paper on Wordsworth's Prelude, and these idea...

How would you describe Wordsworth in one word?

i have to finish my poet biography and I need to describe him in one word/ phrase. When you think of Wordsworth what do you think of? for example.. is he ambitious, shy, competitive? thats what I'm looking for. Thanks!...

Wordsworth's Personality

I recently read a statement about it sometimes being hard to separate Wordsworth's poetry from his unattractive/repellent personality. I was a bit surprised by it. Although I have found some of his behavior in the Annette Vallon affair rather reprehensible, my tremendous love of Wordsworth's poetry has perhaps led me to associate the man too closely with his work. I know there were also disagreements with Coleridge in the later years, but I am not familiar with the details. Sometimes I can be a very naive reader, when I love an author as I do Wordsworth. Anyways, any thoughts?...

The Prelude

According to the site data, "About 1798 he started to write a large and philosophical autobiographical poem, completed in 1805, and published posthumously in 1850 under the title The Prelude." As an assignment for class, at Montery Peninsula College, I analyzed part of Book First, yet it is not part of the works accessible on this site. Perhaps I missed it and if I did, please point me to it on the site. If not on the site why not, i.e. was the work edited by someone else. The lines analyzed from Book First are at 351-371. In the text, "Western Literature in a World Context" Vol. 2. The lines begin “The mind of man is framed even like the breath And harmony of music. There ...

Tintern Abbey: A Powerful Prelude to Nature

"These beauteous forms, through a long absence, have not been to me. As is a landscape is to a blind man's eye: But oft, in lonely rooms, and 'mid the din of towns and cities, I have owed to them, in hours of weariness, sensations sweet, felt in the blood, and felt along the heart; And passing even into my purer mind, with tranquil restoration:--feelings too of unremembered pleasure: such, perhaps, as have no slight or trivial influence on that best portion of a good man's life. His little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love. " -Lines composed a few miles above Tintern Abbey, on revisiting the banks of the Wye during a tour. July 13, 1798. After returning to this beauti...


Hey, does anybody know if Lucy in Wordsworth's poems is a real person or not?...

wordsworth and his poetry

Hi all:) i was just wondering if you were able to give me some tips on how William Wordsworth's context has influenced his choice of poetic devices in his works, mainly tintern abbey, daffodils and early spring cheers :)...

Wordsworth's Tintern Abbey

"Once again/ Do I behold these steep and lofty cliffs/... The day is come when I again repose/ Here, under this dark sycamore" (890). In Tintern Abbey, Wordsworth revisits the bucolic setting of his childhood, and in doing so mirrors the passing of his childhood into manhood with the changing of his dwelling from country to city. While he once loved the freedom of living in the country, in the city he must grapple with the "heavy and the weary weight/ Of all this unintelligible world" (891). But the one reassuring thing about this poem is that Wordsworth doesn't leave the country behind. Indeed, while he is living in the city and trying to succeed in man's own making, society, he says that ...

The world is too much with us; late and soon

William Wordsworth’s sonnet “The World Is Too Much with Us; Late and Soon” addresses the loss of nature in a consumerist society. Nature is a common theme in Wordsworth’s work and in his sonnet he addresses the diminishing connection to nature he experiences due to consumerism. Wordsworth’s sonnet is introduced with a juxtaposition of consumerism and nature. “Getting and spending, we lay waste to our powers: Little we see in Nature that is ours” (1-2) Wordsworth compares obtaining and spending to nature because nature cannot be owned regardless of the price. The juxtaposition illustrates the purity of nature in its inability to be owned and the greed of consumerism in its drive to own al...

Ode: Intimations of Immortality

In “The Gospel According To Thomas,” Jesus is asked where the kingdom of Heaven is and he replies that the kingdom of Heaven is here on earth but man does not see it. In reading “Ode: Intimations of Immortality” I was reminded of this in particular with stanza five: “Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting: The soul that rises with us, our life’s star, hath elsewhere its setting, and cometh from afar: not in entire forgetfulness, and not in utter nakedness, but trailing clouds of glory do we come from God, who is our home: Heaven lies about us in our infancy!” We are born complete and whole; our knowledge of this fact becomes a fading memory as we age. Woodsworth can remember having the ex...

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