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Wordsworth and the Victorians

by Gill, Stephen

  • ISBN: 9780198119654
  • ISBN10: 0198119658

Wordsworth and the Victorians

by Gill, Stephen

  • List Price: $115.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publish date: 04/01/1998
  • ISBN: 9780198119654
  • ISBN10: 0198119658
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Description: Wordsworth was an eighteenth-century contemporary of Blake and his greatest poetry was composed before Keats had written a line. His impact, however, was not fully registered until the Victorian period, when it became common to place his poetry in the great line of Spenser, Shakespeare, and Milton. In part this book examines how it influenced the Victorian poets and novelists who acknowledged its importance to them. However, drawing on a variety of sources fromautobiographical memoirs to publishers' accounts, Wordsworth and the Victorians also examines the emergence of Wordsworth as a cultural icon and the various ways in which his reputation was constructed and transmitted through the agency not of literary giants but of critics, scholars, publishers, andlatterly the disciples of the Wordsworth Society. For some readers, ranging from Quakers to Anglo-Catholics, Wordsworth was primarily a religious poet. For others, by contrast, his strength was that he was spiritually uplifting without being doctrinally specific, and this study includes testimonies from many who witnessed what Wordsworth had meant to them at times of crisis. For other readers, who valued the Guide to the Lakes as much as, if not more than, Wordsworth's verse, Wordsworth's importance was that as laureate of Nature hecould be pressed into service for the cause of environmental protection. The book finally examines Wordsworth's role, thirty and more years after his death, in the battle to establish the National Trust.
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