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William Wordsworth(1770-1850)

William Wordsworth was born in the Lake District in 1770 and he graduated from Cambridge in 1791. By this time, he went on a walking tour of France, Italy and the Alps, and he became a supporter of the French Revolution. He even wrote two long “travel diaries”, An Evening Walk and Descriptive Sketches. Then, in London, he met the philosopher William Godwin (Mary Shelley’s father) and Samuel Coleridge, thus beginning one of the most famous friendship of English literary history. Wordsworth and Coleridge had similar ideas on poetry and love and enjoyed taking long walks together. They both became intensely disillusioned with the French Revolution, whose initial ideals degenerated into the so-called Terror. Wordsworth and Coleridge published anonymously the Lyrical Ballads.

Wordsworth wrote The Prelude, a long poem in which he reflected on his youth and his early enthusiasm for the French Revolution. In this work he compared the Revolution to a monstrous child who refused to grow up. In 1843 Wordsworth was made Poet Laureate (the title given to British poets in recognition of their achievements). He died in 1850.

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