William Wordsworth

Lyrical Ballads
  • Lyrical Ballads

  • Lyrical Ballads (1798) is a landmark collection of poems that marks the beginning of the English Romantic Movement in literature. Co-written by friends William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the collection broke away from traditional poetic form. Of the twenty-three poems, Wordsworth penned works such as 'Lines written a few miles above Tintern Abbey' and 'The Idiot Boy' that use colloquial speech and take the everyday as their theme. The collection also includes Coleridge's greatest poem 'The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere', a supernatural tale of a sailor's voyage.

William Wordsworth was born in 1770 at Cockermouth in the Lake District and educated at Cambridge. As a young man he was fired with enthusiasm for the French Revolution but the year he spent in France after graduating left him disillusioned with radical politics. He turned more seriously to literature and, in collaboration with his friend Coleridge, produced Lyrical Ballads (1798). His return to the Lake District in 1799 marked the beginning of his most productive period as a poet, during which he wrote his most famous long poem, The Prelude (1805). Stephen Gill a Professor of English Literature at Oxford University and a Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford. He holds degrees from Oxford and Edinburgh Universities and is a long-serving member of the Wordsworth Trust. He has written William Wordsworth: A Life (1989) and Wordsworth and the Victorians (1998).

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