First published in 1960, this book studies Wordsworth’s ‘simple’ poems, such as the Lyrical Ballads, as products of a sophisticated and powerfully successful literary genius. The author aims to approach the poems as perhaps Wordsworth expected his first readers to; but as they have never been in fact. The result of this approach is to discover a Wordsworth far different to that which he has previously been presented as — the ‘Sage of Rydal’ at one extreme and a naïve perpetrator of poetical blunders at the other — and, the author argues, a far more exciting one. This book will be of interest to students of literature.
Acknowledgements; Prologue; I. Wordsworth and Simplicity; II. Three Lyrical Ballads; Simon Lee The Idiot Boy The Thorn; III. Goslar Poems IV. Wordsworth and ‘Nature’ V. The Apotheosis of the Animal; Epilogue
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.