Wordsworth: A Life

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HarperCollins, 1903 - Всего страниц: 548
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William Wordsworth's early life reads like a novel. Orphaned at a young age and dependent on the charity of unsympathetic relatives, he became the archetypal teenage rebel. Refusing to enter the Church, he went instead to Revolutionary France, where he fathered an illegitimate daughter and became a committed Republican. His poetry was as revolutionary as his politics, challenging convention in form, style, and subject, and earning him the universal derision and contempt of critics. Only the unfailing encouragement of a tightly knit group of supporters, his family, and, above all, Coleridge kept him true to his poetic vocation. In the half-century that followed his reputation was transformed. His advocacy of the importance of imagination and feeling touched a chord in an increasingly industrial, mechanistic age, and his influence was profoundly and widely felt in every sphere of life. In the last decade of his life, Rydal Mount, his home for thirty-seven years, became a place of pilgrimage, not just for the great and powerful in Church and state, but also, more touchingly, for the hundreds of ordinary people who came to pay their respects to his genius. In what is, astonishingly, the first biography of Wordsworth to treat the latter part of his life as fully as the first, Juliet Barker balances meticulous research with a readable style, and scrupulous objectivity with an understanding of her subject. She reveals not only the public figure who was courted and reviled in equal measure but also the complex, elusive, private man behind that image. Drawing on unpublished sources, she vividly re-creates the intimacy of Wordsworth's domestic circle, showing the love, laughter, loyalty, and tragedies that bound them together. Far from being the remote, cold, solitary figure of legend, Wordsworth emerges from his biography as a passionate, vibrant man who lived for his family, his poetry, and his beloved Lakeland. His legacy, as a poet and as the spiritual founder of the conservation movement, remains with us today.

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LibraryThing Review

Пользовательский отзыв  - ivanfranko - LibraryThing

A detailed biography that is sympathetic to the great Romantic poet. A huge amount of research. Vast supply of notes and references. Juliet Barker treats her subject with respect and objectivity. I ... Читать весь отзыв

WORDSWORTH: A Life

Пользовательский отзыв  - Kirkus

English biographer Barker (The Brontës, 1995) sifts tediously and joylessly through the ponderous life of the great nature poet, friend to Coleridge and later laureate of England.Wordsworth enjoyed a ... Читать весь отзыв

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Стр. 171 - IT is a beauteous evening, calm and free; The holy time is quiet as a nun Breathless with adoration...
Стр. 73 - ... that willing suspension of disbelief for the moment, which constitutes poetic faith.
Стр. 111 - A SLUMBER did my spirit seal ; •^*- I had no human fears : She seemed a thing that could not feel The touch of earthly years. No motion has she now, no force ; She neither hears nor sees ; Rolled round in earth's diurnal course, With rocks, and stones, and trees.
Стр. 137 - Nor less I deem that there are Powers Which of themselves our minds impress; That we can feed this mind of ours In a wise passiveness.
Стр. 166 - Not for these I raise The song of thanks and praise; But for those obstinate questionings Of sense and outward things, Fallings from us, vanishings; Blank misgivings of a Creature Moving about in worlds not realized, High instincts before which our mortal Nature Did tremble like a guilty Thing surprised...
Стр. 131 - tis a dull and endless strife: Come, hear the woodland linnet, How sweet his music ! on my life, There's more of wisdom in it. And hark ! how blithe the throstle sings ! He, too, is no mean preacher: Come forth into the light of things, Let Nature be your Teacher.
Стр. 195 - Whose powers shed round him in the common strife. Or mild concerns of ordinary life, A constant influence, a peculiar grace ; But who, if he be called upon to face Some awful moment to which Heaven has joined Great issues, good or bad for human kind...
Стр. 88 - It may be safely affirmed that there neither is, nor can be, any essential difference between the language of prose and metrical composition.
Стр. 49 - Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, But to be young was very heaven ! — Oh ! times, In which the meagre, stale, forbidding ways Of custom, law, and statute, took at once The attraction of a country in Romance...
Стр. 109 - tis surely blind. But welcome fortitude, and patient cheer, And frequent sights of what is to be borne ! Such sights, or worse, as are before me here. — Not without hope we suffer and we mourn.

Об авторе (1903)

Juliet Barker is internationally recognized for her ability to combine groundbreaking scholarly research with a highly readable and accessible style. Best known for her prizewinning and best-selling book The BrontËs (1994), which was widely acclaimed as setting a new standard in literary biography, she is also an authority on medieval tournaments. Born in Yorkshire, she was educated at Bradford Girls’ Grammar School and St Anne’s College, Oxford, where she obtained a doctorate in medieval history. From 1983 to 1989 she was the curator and librarian of the BrontË Parsonage Museum. She has, for many years, been a frequent contributor to national and international television and radio as a historian and literary biographer, and has lectured in the United States and New Zealand. In 1999 she was one of the youngest-ever recipients of an Honorary Doctorate of Letters, awarded by the University of Bradford in recognition of her outstanding contribution to literary biography. She is married, with two children, and lives in the South Pennines.

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