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By: William Wordsworth (1770-1850)

Book cover The Prelude

Among monuments of narrative poetry, The Prelude; or, Growth of a Poet's Mind, by William Wordsworth, occupies a unique place. Wordsworth published the first version of the poem in 1798, but continued to work on it for the rest of his life. The final version, which is the subject of this recording, was published posthumously in 1850, by Wordworth’s widow, Mary. The Prelude is the first major narrative poem in European literature which deals solely with the spiritual journey of the author. In this respect the only predecessor to which it can be compared in Dante’s Divine Comedy, which is similarly a journey from personal confusion to certitude, from ignorance to realization...

Book cover Lyrical Ballads (1798)

Lyrical Ballads, with a Few Other Poems is a collection of poems by William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, first published in 1798 and generally considered to have marked the beginning of the English Romantic movement in literature. The immediate effect on critics was modest, but it became and remains a landmark, changing the course of English literature and poetry. Most of the poems in the 1798 edition were written by Wordsworth, with Coleridge contributing only four poems to the collection, including one of his most famous works, "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner"...

Book cover The Excursion

The Excursion: Being a portion of The Recluse, a Poem is a long poem by Romantic poet William Wordsworth and was first published in 1814. It was intended to be the second part of The Recluse, an unfinished larger work that was also meant to include The Prelude, Wordsworth's other long poem, which was eventually published posthumously. The exact dates of its composition are unknown, but the first manuscript is generally dated as either September 1806 or December 1809. (Introduction by Wikipedia)

Book cover The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth, Volume 1
Book cover The River Duddon: A Series of Sonnets

Located in a part of Cumbria that was once part of Lancashire, the River Duddon rises in the high fells of the Lake District and flows for 25 miles through varied scenery before disappearing into the sands between Millom and Barrow-in-Furness. Wordsworth’s series of sonnets, inspired by his walks along the river, were written over a period of years, but are arranged so as to follow its downward course from the fells to the sea. Part One of this reading consists of the 33 sonnets and postscript that were first published as a series in 1820...

Book cover Lyrical Ballads, with Other Poems, 1800, Volume 1
Book cover The Prose Works of William Wordsworth
Book cover Poems in Two Volumes, Volume 1
Book cover Selections from Wordsworth and Tennyson
Book cover Recluse

In the prefatory advertisement to the First Edition of the Prelude, 1850, it is stated that that poem was designed to be introductory to the Recluse, and that the Recluse, if completed, would have consisted of three parts. The second part is the Excursion. The third part was only planned. The first book of the first part was left in manuscript by Wordsworth. It is now (1888) published for the first time in extenso.


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