William Wordsworth We are Seven/Timeline of William Wordsworth' Life

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William Wordsworth

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(7 April 1770 – 23 April 1850)

  • William Wordsworth was born on 7 April 1770
  • He was an English Romantic poet who, with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, helped to launch the Romantic Age in English Literature with the publication of Lyrical Ballads
  • Wordsworth masterpiece is generally considered to be The Prelude
  • Wordsworth was Britain's Poet Laureate from 1843 until his death

Early Life

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  • He is the second of five children born to John Wordsworth and Ann Cookson
  • Wordsworth father rarely taught him poetry including that of Milton, Shakespeare, and Spenser
  • After the death of their mother in 1778 John Wordsworth sent William to Hawkshead Grammar School in Lancashire
  • He had already learnt to read and write in a small school in Cockermouth when his mother was alive
  • It was at the school that Wordsworth was to meet Mary who would be his future wife

First Publication and Lyrical Ballad

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  • The year 1793 saw Wordsworth's first published poetry with the collection "An Evening Walk and Descriptive Sketches"
  • He received a legacy of 900 pounds from Raisley Calvert in 1795 so that he could pursue writing poetry
  • That year, he met Samuel Taylor Coleridge in Somerset. The two poets quickly developed a close friendship
  • Together they produced Lyrical Ballads (1798), an important work in the English Romantic movement
  • Wordsworth's most famous poem "Tintern Abbey" was published in the work, along with Coleridge's "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner"

The Poet Laureate and other honours

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  • Wordsworth receives an honorary Doctor of Civil Law degree from Durham University and the same honour from Oxford University
  • The government awarded him a civil list pension amounting to 300 pounds a year
  • With the death of Robert Southey, Wordsworth became the Poet Laureate. He initially refused the honour but later agreed
  • When his daughter, Dora died, his production of poetry came to a standstill

William Wordsworth's Death

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  • He died worsening a case of pleurisy on 23 April 1850 and was buried at St. Oswald's church in Grasmere.
  • His widow Mary published his lengthy autobiographical "Poem to Coleridge" as The Prelude several months after his death.
  • Though this failed to arouse great interest in 1850, it has since come to be recognized as his masterpiece

Poems by Williams Wordsworth

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  1. Lines written a few miles above Tintern Abbey (1798)
  2. She Dwelt among the Untrodden Ways(1798)
  3. The Prelude(1798)
  4. Tables Turned(1798)
  5. Lines Written In Early Spring(1798)
  6. Lucy Gray(1799)
  7. Composed Upon Westminster Bridge(1802)
  8. The World Is Too Much with Us(1802)
  9. Daffodils (I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud)(1804)