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The Stately and the Quixotic

  • John Beer

Abstract

Given the complexity of Wordsworth’s development, it is not surprising that by 1815 his contemporaries hardly knew what to make of him. The poetry which he had written in the 1790s had in itself been unusual, standing away from the Godwinianism to which it was a response; when modified as a result of all that had happened to him in subsequent years the body of his work became, at a direct approach, still more bewildering.

Keywords

Human Heart Political Cynicism Poetic Composition Faint Praise Private Symbol 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 2.
    Shelley, Peter Bell the Third, IV, xi–xiii (Poetical Works, ed. T. Hutchinson (1934), p. 354).Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    For good accounts of the relationship between the two poets, see Sidney Colvin, John Keats, His Life and Poetry (&c.) (1917), esp. pp. 125–6, 220 and 233–4; andGoogle Scholar
  3. John Middleton Murry, ‘Keats and Wordsworth’, Studies in Keats, 2nd ed. (1939), pp. 123–45 (repeated in Selected Criticism 1916–1957 (1960), pp. 127–45).Google Scholar
  4. 11.
    D. Ferry, The Limits of Mortality (Middletown, Conn., 1959), pp. 53–6.Google Scholar
  5. 13.
    See e.g. W. J. Bate, John Keats (1963), pp. 272–3.Google Scholar
  6. 15.
    J. C. Young, Memoir of C. M. Young (1871), I, pp. 182–3.Google Scholar
  7. 16.
    Harriet Martineau, Autobiography (1877), II, pp. 235–6 (Cited Moorman II 581).Google Scholar
  8. 21.
    Letters of Mary Wordsworth, ed. M. E. Burton (Oxford, 1958), pp. 165, 298.Google Scholar
  9. 23.
    Letter to Henry Taylor, 4 Jan. 1839. Quoted, Edith Batho, The Later Wordsworth (Cambridge, 1933), p. 37n.Google Scholar
  10. 25.
    Swinburne, ‘Hertha’ (Collected Poetical Works (1924), I, p. 739); Forster, Two Cheers for Democracy (1951), p. 79.Google Scholar
  11. (See also W. Stone, The Cave and the Mountain (Stamford, Calif., 1966), pp. 61–2, for further references.)Google Scholar
  12. 26.
    Eliza Fletcher, Autobiography (Edinburgh, 1875), p. 283.Google Scholar
  13. 27.
    F. W. Bateson, Wordsworth — A Re-Interpretation (1956), p. 174.Google Scholar
  14. 28.
    Edith Batho, The Later Wordsworth (Cambridge, 1933), p. 45 (cited Moorman I 471).Google Scholar
  15. 29.
    Coleridge, Table Talk, 21 July 1832 (1835, II 71).Google Scholar
  16. 30.
    D. H. Lawrence ‘Lizard’, Complete Poems, ed. V. de Sola Pinto and Warren Roberts (1964), I, p. 524.Google Scholar
  17. 31.
    Ibid., II, p. 658.Google Scholar
  18. 32.
    ‘Hymns in a Man’s Life’, Phoenix II, ed. Warren Roberts and Harry T. Moore (1968), p. 597.Google Scholar
  19. 33.
    ‘On Human Destiny’, ibid., p. 624.Google Scholar
  20. 34.
    Ibid., p. 447.Google Scholar
  21. 35.
    Phoenix, ed. E. D. McDonald (1936), p. 513.Google Scholar
  22. 36.
    ‘Democracy’, Complete Poems, op. cit., I, p. 526.Google Scholar
  23. 37.
    Ibid., p. 525.Google Scholar
  24. 39x.
    Blake, Annotations to The Excursion (BW 784). It should be noted that this passage was quite possibly not drafted until 1806; if so, Blake’s critical antennae may be picking up a note of willed affirmation, following the doubts raised by John Wordsworth’s death (see above, pp. 167–8). For the successive versions of the Prospectus and a discussion of the dating problem see M. H. Abrams, Natural Supernaturalism (1971), pp. 465–79.Google Scholar
  25. 42x.
    x. Milton 15: 21–27 (BW 497). For a detailed discussion of this passage in relation to contemporary scientific theories see Donald Ault, Visionary Physics: Blakes Response to Newton (Chicago, 1974), pp. 154–6.Google Scholar
  26. 43.
    C. Wordsworth, Memoirs of William Wordsworth (1851), II, 474 (cited Moorman II 581).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© John Beer 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Beer
    • 1
  1. 1.CambridgeUK

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