Approaching Wordsworth’ writings from perspectives which have not been considered in critical literature, this book offers a multiangled reflection on the technicalities of the poet’s religious discourse, including the methodology of The Prelude revision, or Wordsworth’s patent art of "pious postscripts." The book constitutes a self-contained whole and can be read independently. Simultaneously, it creates an unusual duet with The Absent God in The Works of William Wordsworth, whose six chapters follow this book’s eight chapters like a sestet which complements the octave—becoming, thus, a tribute to Wordsworth as one of the most prolific sonneteers in history. Both monographs build their theses on Wordsworth’s entire oeuvre and embrace the whole of his wide lifespan. Their completion in 2020 coincides with several round anniversaries: the 250th anniversary of Wordsworth’s birth, the 200th anniversary of The River Duddon, and the 170th anniversary of the publication of his autobiographical masterpiece, The Prelude.
Table of Contents
ONE A Prelude—
The Author Behind the Work: The Memoirs of William Wordsworth
TWO "Wisdom and s/Spirit of the universe[!]"—
The Indeterminacy of Wordsworth’s Religious Signposting
THREE "(Thanks to the good God / That made us)"—
The Allusiveness of Wordsworth’s Religious Discourse
FOUR "Upon this I shall insist elsewhere . . ."—
Religion in The Prose Works of William Wordsworth
FIVE "[S]urrounded . . . by kneeling crowds"—
Churchgoing and Prayer in The Poetical Works of Wordsworth
SIX The Excursion—
Wordsworth’s "Dramatic" Mode
SEVEN The Prelude—
The Author’s Voice
The Author’s Method
RETROSPECT—Or the Turn
Eliza Borkowska (https://www.elizaborkowska.com/info) is Associate Professor of Literature at SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities in Warsaw and the author of But He Talked of the Temple of Man’s Body: Blake’s Revelation Un-Locked (2009). She is currently working as a co-author on the first translation of Blake’s Jerusalem into Polish.
“I know of no other study of Wordsworth that compares with this in its range, or in the passionate attention it brings to its subject. It is an extraordinary, imaginative, and thoughtfully empathetic reading of the whole of the poet’s long lifetime’s work. This is a book with which future Wordsworth scholars will have to reckon, and one that will offer much to surprise and challenge readers who think they know his poetry.” Heather Glen, University of Cambridge, UK.