First published in 1987, this book is written for those who are encountering Wordsworth for the first time and for those familiar with his works that are at a loss to understand his reputation or why his work has impressed them. The strength of the author’s approach is that it unravels the poet’s true meaning and the process by which he all too frequently lost the voice of inspiration — working and reshaping his poems until the original freshness disappeared. It concentrates on helping the reader appreciate Wordsworth’s distinctive and daring way with words and poetic structure. By showing Wordsworth’s failures, the author demonstrates by contrast the achievements of his greatest works.
Preface; 1 Introduction 2 Lyrical Ballads (1798 and 1800) 3 The Prelude (1805) 4 Poems, in Two Volumes (1807) 5 Conclusion; Abbreviated References; Notes; Suggestions for Further Reading; Index
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.