William Wordsworth: A Life

Stephen Gill (Author)


In this second edition of William Wordsworth: A Life, Stephen Gill draws on knowledge of the poet's creative practices and his reputation and influence in his life-time and beyond. Refusing to treat the poet's later years as of little interest, this biography presents a narrative of the whole of Wordsworth's long life--1770 to 1850--tracing the development from the adventurous youth who alone of the great Romantic poets saw life in revolutionary France to the old man who became Queen Victoria's Poet Laureate.

The various phases of Wordsworth's life are explored with a not uncritical sympathy; the narrative brings out the courage he and his wife and family were called upon to show as they crafted the life they wanted to lead. While the emphasis is on Wordsworth the writer, the personal relationships that nourished his creativity are fully treated, as are the historical circumstances that affected the production of his poetry. Wordsworth, it is widely believed, valued poetic spontaneity. He did, but he also took pains over every detail of the process of publication. The foundation of this second edition of the biography remains, as it was of the first, a conviction that Wordsworth's poetry, which has given pleasure and comfort to generations of readers in the past, will continue to do so in the years to come.

Product Details

Oxford University Press, USA
Publish Date
July 08, 2020
6.4 X 9.3 X 2.3 inches | 2.15 pounds
BISAC Categories:

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate

About the Author

Stephen Gill is Professor Emeritus, Oxford University, Supernumerary Fellow, Lincoln College, Oxford, and a long-serving member of the Wordsworth Trust.


"One of the many enjoyments of Stephen Gill's William Wordsworth: A Life is the quiet pride it communicates in a job well done. Wordsworth emerges from this comprehensive and absorbing study as a man whose sense of purpose and duty steadily grew from youth to old age." -- Freya Johnston, The Guardian

"Gill gives us the Wordsworth who bore life's tribulations as a philosopher, the Wordsworth renowned as a poet, but also the deeply human portrait of Wordsworth the man." -- Chris Townsend, The Wordsworth Trust

"An essential companion to students of Wordsworth with much to offer the general reader." -- Will Smith, Cumbria Life