His hostile interactions with them distressed him to the point of contemplating suicide. Wordsworth was taught to read by his mother and attended, first, a tiny school of low quality in Cockermouth, then a school in Penrith for the children of upper-class families, where he was taught by Ann Birkett, who insisted on instilling in her students traditions that included pursuing both scholarly and local activities, especially the festivals around Easter, May Day and Shrove Tuesday.
Wordsworth was taught both the Bible and the Spectator , but little else. It was at the school in Penrith that he met the Hutchinsons, including Mary, who later became his wife. After the death of Wordsworth's mother, in , his father sent him to Hawkshead Grammar School in Lancashire now in Cumbria and sent Dorothy to live with relatives in Yorkshire. She and William did not meet again for another nine years.
Wordsworth made his debut as a writer in when he published a sonnet in The European Magazine. That same year he began attending St John's College, Cambridge. He received his BA degree in In he went on a walking tour of Europe, during which he toured the Alps extensively, and visited nearby areas of France, Switzerland, and Italy. In November , Wordsworth visited Revolutionary France and became enchanted with the Republican movement.
He fell in love with a French woman, Annette Vallon, who in gave birth to their daughter Caroline. Financial problems and Britain 's tense relations with France forced him to return to England alone the following year. The Reign of Terror left Wordsworth thoroughly disillusioned with the French Revolution and the outbreak of armed hostilities between Britain and France prevented him from seeing Annette and his daughter for some years. The purpose of the visit was to prepare Annette for the fact of his forthcoming marriage to Mary Hutchinson.
Mary was anxious that Wordsworth should do more for Caroline. The year saw the first publication of poems by Wordsworth, in the collections An Evening Walk and Descriptive Sketches. In he received a legacy of pounds from Raisley Calvert and became able to pursue a career as a poet. It was also in that he met Samuel Taylor Coleridge in Somerset. The two poets quickly developed a close friendship.
BBC - History - Historic Figures: William Wordsworth ()
Together Wordsworth and Coleridge with insights from Dorothy produced Lyrical Ballads , an important work in the English Romantic movement. One of Wordsworth's most famous poems, " Tintern Abbey ", was published in this collection, along with Coleridge's " The Rime of the Ancient Mariner ". The second edition, published in , had only Wordsworth listed as the author, and included a preface to the poems.
Wordsworth also gives his famous definition of poetry as "the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: A fourth and final edition of Lyrical Ballads was published in He attempted to get the play staged in November , but it was rejected by Thomas Harris , the manager of the Covent Garden Theatre , who proclaimed it "impossible that the play should succeed in the representation".
The rebuff was not received lightly by Wordsworth and the play was not published until , after substantial revision. Wordsworth, Dorothy and Coleridge travelled to Germany in the autumn of While Coleridge was intellectually stimulated by the journey, its main effect on Wordsworth was to produce homesickness. He wrote a number of other famous poems in Goslar, including " The Lucy poems ". In the Autumn of , Wordsworth and his sister returned to England and visited the Hutchinson family at Sockburn.
When Coleridge arrived back in England he travelled to the North with their publisher Joseph Cottle to meet Wordsworth and undertake a proposed tour of the Lake District. This was the immediate cause of the siblings settling at Dove Cottage in Grasmere in the Lake District, this time with another poet, Robert Southey nearby. Wordsworth, Coleridge and Southey came to be known as the " Lake Poets ". In , Lowther's heir, William Lowther, 1st Earl of Lonsdale , paid the 4, pounds owed to Wordsworth's father through Lowther's failure to pay his aide.
On 4 October, following his visit with Dorothy to France to arrange matters with Annette, Wordsworth married his childhood friend Mary Hutchinson. The following year Mary gave birth to the first of five children, three of whom predeceased her and William:. Wordsworth had for years been making plans to write a long philosophical poem in three parts, which he intended to call The Recluse.
In —99 he started an autobiographical poem, which he referred to as the " poem to Coleridge " and which he planned would serve as an appendix to a larger work called The Recluse. In he began expanding this autobiographical work, having decided to make it a prologue rather than an appendix. He completed this work, now generally referred to as the first version of The Prelude , in , but refused to publish such a personal work until he had completed the whole of The Recluse. The death of his brother John, also in , affected him strongly and may have influenced his decisions about these works.
William Wordsworth Biography
Wordsworth's philosophical allegiances as articulated in The Prelude and in such shorter works as " Lines written a few miles above Tintern Abbey " have been a source of critical debate. It was long supposed that Wordsworth relied chiefly on Coleridge for philosophical guidance, but more recently scholars have suggested that Wordsworth's ideas may have been formed years before he and Coleridge became friends in the mids.
In particular, while he was in revolutionary Paris in , the year-old Wordsworth made the acquaintance of the mysterious traveler John "Walking" Stewart — ,  who was nearing the end of his thirty years of wandering, on foot, from Madras , India, through Persia and Arabia , across Africa and Europe, and up through the fledgling United States.
By the time of their association, Stewart had published an ambitious work of original materialist philosophy entitled The Apocalypse of Nature London, , to which many of Wordsworth's philosophical sentiments may well be indebted. Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood ". Up to this point Wordsworth was known only for Lyrical Ballads , and he hoped that this new collection would cement his reputation. Its reception was lukewarm, however.
Early life of William Wordsworth
In , Wordsworth and Coleridge were estranged over the latter's opium addiction,  and in , his son Thomas died at the age of 6, six months after the death of 3-year-old Catherine. In , he and his family, including Dorothy, moved to Rydal Mount , Ambleside between Grasmere and Rydal Water , where he spent the rest of his life. In Wordsworth published The Excursion as the second part of the three-part work The Recluse , even though he had not completed the first part or the third part, and never did.
He did, however, write a poetic Prospectus to "The Recluse" in which he laid out the structure and intention of the whole work. The Prospectus contains some of Wordsworth's most famous lines on the relation between the human mind and nature:. Some modern critics  suggest that there was a decline in his work beginning around the mids, perhaps because most of the concerns that characterised his early poems loss, death, endurance, separation and abandonment had been resolved in his writings and his life.
Following the death of his friend the painter William Green in , Wordsworth also mended his relations with Coleridge. Coleridge and Charles Lamb both died in , their loss being a difficult blow to Wordsworth.
The following year saw the passing of James Hogg. Despite the death of many contemporaries, the popularity of his poetry ensured a steady stream of young friends and admirers to replace those he lost. Wordsworth's youthful political radicalism, unlike Coleridge's, never led him to rebel against his religious upbringing. By they had five children, but their happiness was tempered by the loss at sea of William's brother John , the alienation from Coleridge in , and the death of two children in Finally fully reconciled to Coleridge, the two of them toured the Rhineland in Durham University granted him an honorary Doctor of Civil Law degree in , and Oxford conferred the same honor the next year.
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