Writer : William Wordsworth

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We will scrutinise the biography of William Wordsworth. We will discuss his early years, distinguished by personal loss and educational endeavours, his family and personal relationships, his literary career and his contribution to the poetry world.


Who was William Wordsworth?

William Wordsworth was one of the most celebrated poets in English literature. He was born on April 7, 1770, in Cockermouth, Cumberland, England. He played a vital role in the Romantic literary movement. He was well-known for his profound connection with nature and the quest for human emotions and experiences.


Early Life and Education 

Wordsworth's early life was marked by tragedy. His mother died when he was seven. He lost his father at 13. Despite these hardships, he received his education at Hawkshead Grammar School. Here, he exhibited a talent for writing poetry. Later, he attended Cambridge University. Although his academic performance could have been better, he graduated in 1791. During his productive years, Wordsworth exposed revolutionary ideas. In 1790, he visited France, a country undergoing immense political turmoil due to the French Revolution. This experience profoundly influenced his political beliefs and ignited his support for republican ideals.


Family and Children

Wordsworth's life was interwoven with his literary career. In 1795, he received an estate that allowed him to live with his beloved sister, Dorothy Wordsworth. Their close relationship would profoundly influence his poetry. In 1802, while living in France during a temporary lull in hostilities between England and France, Wordsworth fell in love with Annette Vallon, with whom he had a daughter named Caroline. However, the outbreak of war between the two countries in 1793 forced them to separate. Upon returning to England, Wordsworth married Mary Hutchinson in 1802. They had five children together: John, Dora, Thomas, Catherine, and William. The family played a significant role in his life, and their experiences often inspired his poetry.


Poetic Career

Wordsworth's poetic career is divided into several phases. His early work, particularly in collaboration with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, was marked by the publication of "Lyrical Ballads" in 1798. This collection included Wordsworth's famous poem "Tintern Abbey," which introduced Romanticism to English poetry. His poems in this period celebrated the beauty of nature, the significance of ordinary life, and the power of human emotions. Wordsworth also began writing his opus, "The Prelude," an autobiographical poem. He continued to revise throughout his life. This work provided a glimpse into his personal experiences and poetic development. Throughout his career, Wordsworth composed notable poems like "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" and "Ode: Intimations of Immortality." These works showcased his deep connection with nature and his exploration of themes related to memory, loss, and the passage of time.


Recognition and Death

Wordsworth's contribution to poetry made him a prominent literary figure. In 1843, he was appointed England's poet laureate, a position he held until his death. William Wordsworth passed away on April 23, 1850, at 80, at his home in Rydal Mount, Westmorland, England. His legacy persists through his endless poems. It continues to inspire readers with its profound connection to nature, exploration of human emotions, and celebration of the ordinary experiences of life.