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November 23, 2009

William Wordsworth Quick Facts

William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth

19th century English romantic poet and poet laureate of England
  • Birth: April 7, 1770
  • Death: April 23, 1850
  • Place of Birth: Cockermouth , Cumberland, in the Lake District of northwestern England
  • Spouse: Mary Hutchinson (Married her in 1802)
  • Number of Children: Five
  • Education: Saint John's College, University of Cambridge
  • Known for: Initiating Romanticism by introducing novel poetic theories and techniques
  • Wordsworth was the Poet Laureate of England from 1843–1850


"Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting;
The Soul that rises with us, our life's star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of grory do we come
From God, who is our home:"
“Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood” (1807)

Notable Works

Lyrical Ballads, with Other Poems (first published in 1778, 2nd edition appeared in 1800)
Poems, in Two Volumes (1807)
The Excursion (1814)
Ecclesiastical Sketches (1822)
The Prelude (1850)

Did You Know?

  • William Wordsworth was orphaned at an early age.
  • Wordsworth suffered from anosmia, an inability to smell.
  • Although Wordsworth had begun to write poetry while still a schoolboy, none of his poems was published until 1793. Although fresh and original in content, the poems received little notice, and few copies were sold.
  • His masterpiece "The Prelude" was not published during his lifetime.
  • Even though his contribution led the tide of Romantic movement in English literature, only a few poets imitated his poetic style. Even his best friend Coleridge modified Wordsworth's poetic theory in the way of creating his own works.

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