The Prelude or, "Growth of a Poet's Mind; An Autobiographical Poem" is an autobiographical epic poem by the English poet William Wordsworth. Intended as the introduction to the more philosophical Recluse, which Wordsworth never finished, The Prelude is an extremely personal and revealing work on the details of Wordsworth's life. Wordsworth began 'The Prelude in 1798 at the age of 28 and continued to work on it throughout his life. The Prelude was eventually published posthumously in 1850 by Wordsworth's wife, Mary Wordsworth. William Wordsworth (7 April 1770 - 23 April 1850) was a major English Romantic poet who, with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, helped to launch the Romantic Age in English literature with the 1798 joint publication - Lyrical Ballads. His magnum opus is generally considered to be The Prelude. Wordsworth was Britain's Poet Laureate from 1843 until his death in 1850.