William Wordsworth (1770-1850) was a major English Romantic poet, who together with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, helped to launch the Romantic Age in English literature. He was Britain’s Poet Laureate from 1843 until his death in 1850. Wordsworth was born in Cockermouth, Cumberland, one of five children. He travelled extensively through Europe and after getting homesick during his stay in the harsh winter of 1798-99 in Germany he then came back to England with his sister Dorothy and moved into Dove Cottage, Grasmere in the Lake District. William and Dorothy lived here until William married in 1802 when his wife and her sister joined them. With an expanding family, the Wordsworths moved from Dove Cottage and finally settled in Rydal Mount, a much bigger house just a few miles south just outside Ambleside. They continued to rent this property for 46 years until Mary’s death in 1859, 9 years after William’s death. Rydal Mount was acquired in 1969 by Mary Henderson (née Wordsworth), William’s great great granddaughter. It remains in the ownership of the Wordsworth family, and has been opened to the public since 1970. During his eight years at Dove Cottage, Wordsworth described this time as ‘plain living and high thinking’, he produced what are now regarded as his finest works. Nature was important to Wordsworth and also the impact that it has on human life, this is shown in many of his poems. His greatest work is thought to be ‘The Prelude’ which is a semi-autobiographical poem that he worked on for most of his adult life. His most famous poem is ‘I wandered lonely as a Cloud’ and it is the second version which he altered and was published in 1815, that is the widely known one today. He died at Rydal Mount in 1850 and is buried in Grasmere churchyard.
The Wordsworth Museum & Art Gallery,
Tel: 015394 35544
Official Website : https://wordsworth.org.uk/
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