Welcome to the Wordsworth and Romanticism Blog. Here you will find lively and engaging explorations of the literature, history and culture of the Romantic period (1750 to 1850) from a variety of contributors. Illuminating and thought-provoking, they offer fresh perspectives on a period in our cultural history that continues to fascinate and inspire.

Michael McGregor  – The Robert Woof Director of The Wordsworth Trust

You can get involved on Twitter @Wordsworthians

Pandaemonium2000_poster

Film review: Pandaemonium

by Esther Rutter

Anyone who is even faintly familiar with the major events in the lives of Wordsworth and Coleridge will have a field day watching Julian Temple’s quasi-biopic Pandaemonium. I recommend inviting your literary-inclined friends round for an evening of riotous entertainment, watching the film whilst taking part in the following themed drinking game […]

Tagged in:
Dramatisiations and fictionalisations
Film reviews
Wordsworth and Romanticism

Read more

Martin, John:The Last Man, 1849Martin, John:The Last Man, 1849

The 'Last Man on Earth' in Romantic literature

One glorious summer’s day in 1816, Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley stood together on the shores of Lake Geneva in Switzerland, quietly contemplating the brilliant expanse of water as the sun glinted off its surface. Suddenly, Shelley turned to Byron and exclaimed, his words sending a shiver of fear down his friend’s spine. ‘What […]

Tagged in:
Lord Byron
Mary Shelley
Wordsworth and Romanticism

Read more

The stone circle referred to in Sonnet 17.The stone circle referred to in Sonnet 17.

Wordsworth and the River Duddon

by Andrew Ray

In 1820 William Wordsworth published The River Duddon, A Series of Sonnets.  As Stephen Gill points out in his essay, Wordsworth and the River Duddon, reviewers were bemused that a famous poet should choose to write about this ‘insignificant river’ with a ‘barbarous name’:

‘What would he not have written had the […]

Tagged in:
William Wordsworth
Wordsworth and Romanticism

Read more

Ferns in Dove Cottage gardenFerns in Dove Cottage garden

'An eminently beautiful Object is Fern': The Romantics and the Victorian Fern Craze

By Sarah Whittingham

Of all the many passions and crazes in nineteenth-century gardening and natural history, none was as long lasting or as wide reaching as fern fever, when the plant held a popular fascination for much of society.

But this enthralment with the frond came out of nowhere; before the 1830s there was virtually […]

Tagged in:
Dorothy Wordsworth
John Clare
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
William Wordsworth
Wordsworth and Romanticism

Read more

Detail from the 'Nine Living Muses of Great Britain' (1799). Barbauld is raising her hand.Detail from the 'Nine Living Muses of Great Britain' (1799). Barbauld is raising her hand.

A forgotten female Romantic poet?: Introducing Anna Laetitia Barbauld

by Mara Barbuni

Anna Laetitia Barbauld (née Aikin) poet, essayist, abolitionist, literary critic, teacher and educationist, lived an age of extraordinary transformations in the English political, social, technological and artistic fields. Her lifetime, spanning from 1743 to 1825, witnessed three reigns (George II, III and IV), several wars (Seven Years, American Independence, Napoleonic Wars), the […]

Tagged in:
Wordsworth and Romanticism

Read more

The Townley Vase, 2nd century AD, © Trustees of the British MuseumThe Townley Vase, 2nd century AD, © Trustees of the British Museum

Romantic readings: 'Ode on a Grecian Urn' by John Keats

by Lynn Roberts

Humans want to know things. They’re as full of ’satiable curtiosity as the Elephant’s Child, and when anything interests them they want to find out all about it – especially if finding out is almost impossible. They want to know exactly who Shakespeare was, and what he thought, and what he had […]

Tagged in:
John Keats
Wordsworth and Romanticism

Read more