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William Wordsworth

W. Wordsworth was born in 1770 in Cockermputh, in the Lake District. After grammar school, William went up to St John's College, Cambridge, where he graduated in 1791. He left England for a walking tour of France and the Alps. He became committes to the cause of the French Revolution. In France, he met Annette Vallon with who he had a daughter. Lack of money forced him to return to England without his family. He went to live in Dorset with his sister Dorothy and in 1797 he met S. T. Coleridge. The result of this remarkable friendship was a collections of poems called Lyrical Ballads in 1798. He was disillusioned by the French revolution because of the Terror. In 1802 he married Mary Hutchinson. 1843 he was made Poet Laureate and in 1850 he died.


1793 he published two travelogues An Evening Walks and Descriptive Sketches.
1798 they published anonymously the Lyrical Ballads.
1800 the second edition of L. B.with his famous Preface.
1805 the Prelude, the long narrative poem in which he reflected on his youth and his early enthusiasm for the Revolution.
1807 Poems in Two Volumes.
1814 The Excursion.

Lyrical Ballads

Lyrical Ballads was written by Wordsworth and Coleridge in 1798. W. Contributed poems on commons events written in ordinary language, while C. Those of exotic or fantastic nature. L.B.marked the appearance of modern poetry, the subjective poetry of the self. The 1800 edition contained the Preface that is considered the English Romantic Manifesto. All ideas are described and explained:
the choice of ordinary subjects and ordinary language as a way of creating a democratic kind of poetry accessible to all men;
a description and theory of the poet as a man speaking to men;
how poetry in the "spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings" originating from "emotion recollected in tranquility;
nature as the countryside, the scene the poet describes is peopled not by men but by nature;
nature as a source of inspiration, nature is not a power external to man, we are part of it. Our best feelings are inspired by nature and in nature we can discover moral and spiritual values;
nature as a life-force.
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