First published in 1983, this books aims to guide Wordsworth students through his difficult masterpiece by reading it in continuous sequence and making its sense emerge. The special value of this commentary is that it explains the structure of The Prelude by encouraging study of the poem as a continuous whole rather than selectively looking at individual sections — an approach that has typified modern criticism of the work. This depends upon a close attention to the careful arrangement of the verse paragraphs, all of which make an indispensable contribution to the overall thought pattern, thus leading to a fuller appreciation and understanding of the poem.
Preface; Acknowledgements; Book I Book II Book III Book IV Book V; Notes
Beginning with the publication of their joint collection of poems Lyrical Ballads in 1798, William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge were instrumental in helping to establish the Romantic Movement as a major force in nineteenth century British literature. Two of the movement’s greatest figures, they were responsible for composing some of the most well-known poems in the British literary canon and influenced generations of acolytes. They were also the foremost literary critics of the period, contributing influential writings on literary theory and philosophy — exemplified by Coleridge’s Biographia Literaria.
‘Routledge Library Editions: Wordsworth and Coleridge’ assembles a wide range of scholarship and criticism that covers all aspects of their diverse output and charts the vicissitudes of their lives — examining their poetry, criticism, philosophy and sources of inspiration. It will also help introduce them to newer readers and explain notoriously difficult to understand works like Wordsworth’s The Prelude. This set reissues 14 books originally published between 1960 and 1991 and will be of interest to students of literature and literary history.