Poet laureate of England from 1843 until his death in 1850, William Wordsworth is often credited as being one of the founders of English Romanticism. The 1798 joint publication of Wordsworth's and Sameul Taylor Coleridge's Lyrical Ballads marked a turning point in English poetry, as poets began to emphasize imagination and feeling over the primacy of reason. Wordsworth's poems focused on the natural and the ordinary, as based on the "real language of men." In his preface to the third edition of Lyrical Ballads, Wordsworth set forth his definition of poetry as "the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings from emotions recollected in tranquility." The criticism contained in this volume considers Wordsworth's major works and attests to his lasting influence on poetry. Student researchers will appreciate the chronology of Wordsworth's life, an index of the volume, and an introductory essay by esteemed critic Harold Bloom.
About the Author(s)
Harold Bloom is Sterling Professor of the Humanities at Yale University. Educated at Cornell and Yale universities, he is the author of 30 books, including Shelley's Mythmaking (1959), The Visionary Company (1961), Blake's Apocalypse (1963), Yeats (1970), A Map of Misreading (1975), Kabbalah and Criticism (1975), Agon: Toward a Theory of Revisionism (1982), The American Religion (1992), The Western Canon (1994), Omens of Millennium: The Gnosis of Angels, Dreams, and Resurrection (1996), and Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human (1998), a 1998 National Book Award finalist. The Anxiety of Influence (1973) sets forth Professor Bloom's provocative theory of the literary relationships between the great writers and their predecessors. His most recent books include How to Read and Why (2000), Genius: A Mosaic of One Hundred Exemplary Creative Minds (2002), Hamlet: Poem Unlimited (2003), Where Shall Wisdom Be Found? (2004), and Jesus and Yahweh: The Names Divine (2005). In addition, he is the author of hundreds of articles, reviews, and editorial introductions. In 1999, Professor Bloom received the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal for Criticism. He has also received the International Prize of Catalonia, the Alfonso Reyes Prize of Mexico, and the Hans Christian Andersen Bicentennial Prize of Denmark.