Epilogue: The Noise of the Sea
For Wordsworth’s generation revolutionary failure in France and Britain had presented human perversity on a universal scale, in the devastating spectacle of ‘an age of Revolutions, in which nothing may be looked for’. At the same period the private experiences of friendship and love, estrangement and death had worked to emphasise the highest qualities of human nature that might be set against ‘Solitude, or fear, or pain, or grief’. Those histories — public and personal, wholly extraordinary and utterly mundane — constitute the politics of nature explored in the previous chapters, and the grounds on which this book may be relevant as literary criticism now.
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