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Lead book review

Wordsworth may have been partially eclipsed by his fellow Romantics, but his life was far from dull

Wordsworth’s reputation has been too long in decline, says Tom Williams. In the space of a decade he transformed English poetry, and his earlier works remain astonishing

4 April 2020

9:00 AM

4 April 2020

9:00 AM

Well-Kept Secrets: The Story of William Wordsworth Andrew Wordsworth

Pallas Athene, pp.480, 24.95

Radical Wordsworth: The Poet Who Changed the World Jonathan Bate

William Collins, pp.672, 25

Between 1798 and 1807 William Wordsworth revolutionised English poetry, giving voice to the marginalised in poems such as ‘The Idiot Boy’ and anticipating modern psychology in his exploration of childhood. Today, his ability to articulate the connection between man and nature can still bring us up short, as in these lines from ‘Tintern Abbey’:

… And I have felt,
A presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man…





After 1807 Wordsworth...

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