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William Wordsworth

A Life in Letters

A Life in Letters
William Wordsworth - Author
Juliet Barker - Editor
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Book: Paperback | 129 x 198mm | 384 pages | ISBN 9780141442136 | 29 Mar 2007 | Penguin Classics
A Life in Letters

William Wordsworth is usually remembered as the quintessential Victorian Poet Laureate: a dull, worthy, establishment figure, with impeccable middle class, Tory, Anglican credentials, whose moralistic poetry has been required reading for generations of yawning school children. Yet there is so much more to Wordsworth than 'Daffodils' and 'The Prelude'.

This selection of letters and autobiographical fragments introduces us to the real Wordsworth: the rebellious schoolboy, who vandalised his family portraits, became a supporter of the French Revolution and fathered an illegitimate daughter in France; the radical poet whose flouting of the conventions of the day attracted the ridicule of the reviewers and forced him to endure thirty years of rejection, obscurity and financial hardship before achieving belated critical and popular success; the devoted brother, husband and father who could still write passionate love letters to his wife after ten years of marriage and the birth of five children; and, finally, the revered patriarch whose poetry formed the hearts and minds of a generation, whose opinions were sought by writers, politicians, churchmen and educationalists throughout the English speaking world, but who thought nothing of vaulting walls, skating on the Lakes or climbing Helvellyn even in his seventies.

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