First published in 1962, this book reveals unexpected complexity or equivocation in Wordsworth’s use of certain key words, particularly ‘image’, ‘form’ and ‘shape’. The author endeavours to show that this complexity is related to the poet’s awareness of the ambiguity of the perceptual process. Numerous passages from The Prelude and other poems are analysed to illustrate the argument and to show that, because of this doubt or hidden perplexity, Wordsworth’s poetry has a far richer texture, is more concentrated, intricately organised and loaded with ambivalent meanings than it would otherwise have been. New light is also shed on Wordsworth’s debt to Akenside.
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.