Overview

William Wordsworth

(1770—1850) poet


Related Overviews

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772—1834) poet, critic, and philosopher

Dorothy Wordsworth (1771—1855) writer

sublime

William Hazlitt (1778—1830) writer and painter

See all related overviews in Oxford Index » »

 

'William Wordsworth' can also refer to...

Browning's Apology: Robert Browning, Wordsworth, and William Knight

Epilogue ‘Triumphal Wreaths’—To William Wordsworth and A Complaint

Fisher, Sir William Wordsworth (1875-1937), naval officer

FISHER, William Wordsworth (1875 - 1937), Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth, since 1936

NEW LIGHT ON WORDSWORTH'S AMERICAN FRIENDS THE POET'S RELATIONS WITH WILLIAM BRADFORD REED

Review: Last Poems, 1821–1850 by William Wordsworth

Rollo, William Charles Wordsworth (1860 - 1946), late Lt-Col 3rd Batt. Black Watch; Captain Royal Company of Archers

Sir William Wordsworth Fisher (1875—1937) naval officer

Stephen Gill (ed.), William Wordsworth.

‘Stripping our own hearts nake’: William Wordsworth and John Wilson read ‘The Idiot Boy’

Two Unpublished Letters from William Wordsworth

An Unpublished Letter from William Wordsworth to C. H. Parry

WILLIAM AND DOROTHY WORDSWORTH AND ANTHONY HARRISON'S POETICAL RECREATIONS

William Wordsworth (1908—1988)

William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth (1770–1850)

William Wordsworth (1770–1850)

William Wordsworth 1770–1850

William Wordsworth (1770–1850)

William Wordsworth (1770–1850)

William Wordsworth and Leslie Marmon Silko Toward an Ecofeminist Future

William Wordsworth and the Lakes

William Wordsworth: Intensity and Achievement

William Wordsworth, James Gray, and the Letter to a Friend of Robert Burns: Some Unpublished Correspondence

Wordsworth, William

Wordsworth, William

Wordsworth, William (1770)

Wordsworth, William (1770–1850)

 

More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • literature

GO

Quick Reference

(1770–1850),

educated at Hawkshead Grammar School. His mother died in 1778, his father in 1783, losses recorded in The Prelude. He attended St John's College, Cambridge, but disliked the academic course. In 1790 he went on a walking tour of France, the Alps, and Italy, and returned to France late in 1791, to spend a year there; during this period he fell in love with the daughter of a surgeon at Blois, Annette Vallon, who bore him a daughter. (This love affair is reflected in ‘Vaudracour and Julia’, composed ?1804, pub. 1820.) After his return to England he published in 1793 two poems in heroic couplets, An Evening Walk and Descriptive Sketches, both conventional attempts at the picturesque and the sublime. In this year he also wrote (but did not publish) a Letter to the Bishop of Llandaff (see Watson, R.) in support of the French Republic. England's declaration of war against France shocked him deeply, but the institution of the Terror marked the beginning of his disillusion with the French Revolution, a period of depression reflected in his verse drama The Borderers (composed 1796–7, pub. 1842). In 1795 he received a legacy of £900 from his friend Raisley Calvert, which allowed him to pursue his vocation as a poet, and to be reunited with his sister Dorothy Wordsworth; they settled first at Racedown in Dorset, then at Alfoxden in Somerset, to be near Coleridge, then living at Nether Stowey, whom Wordsworth had met in 1795. This was a period of intense creativity for both poets, which produced the Lyrical Ballads (1798), a landmark in the history of English Romanticism. (See Ancient Mariner, Idiot Boy, Tintern Abbey.) The winter of 1798–9 was spent in Goslar in Germany, where Wordsworth wrote the enigmatic ‘Lucy’ poems. In 1799 he and Dorothy settled in Dove Cottage, Grasmere; to the next year belong ‘The Recluse’, Book I (later The Excursion), ‘The Brothers’, ‘Michael’, and many of the poems included in the 1800 edition of the Lyrical Ballads (which, with its provocative preface on poetic diction, aroused much criticism). In 1802 Wordsworth married Mary Hutchinson. In the same year he composed ‘Resolution and Independence’, and began his ode on ‘Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood’, both of which appeared in Poems in Two Volumes (1807), along with many of his most celebrated lyrics. To the same period belong the birth of five children, travels with Dorothy and Coleridge, and new friendships, notably with Sir W. Scott, Sir G. Beaumont, and De Quincey. Wordsworth's domestic happiness was overcast by the death of his sailor brother John in 1805 (which inspired several, poems, including ‘Elegiac Stanzas suggested by a Picture of Peele Castle’, 1807), the early deaths of two of his children (one of which inspired his sonnet ‘Surprised by Joy’, 1815), and the physical deterioration of Coleridge, from whom he was for some time estranged, and with whom he was never entirely reconciled. But his productivity continued, and his popularity gradually increased. The Excursion was published in 1814, The White Doe of Rylstone in 1815, two volumes of Miscellaneous Poems in 1815, and Peter Bell and The Waggoner in 1819. Wordsworth slowly settled into the role of patriotic, conservative public man, abandoning the radical politics and idealism of his youth. Much of the best of his later work was mildly topographical, inspired by his love of travel. In 1843 he succeeded Southey as poet laureate. He died in Rydal Mount, Ambleside (where he had lived since 1813) after the publication of a finally revised text of his works (6 vols, 1849–50). The Prelude was published posthumously in 1850.

[...]

Subjects: literature.


Reference entries

See all related reference entries in Oxford Index »