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

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Percy Bysshe Shelley by Amelia Curran.Percy Bysshe Shelley by Amelia Curran. Picture courtesy of The National Portrait Gallery

Romantic Readings: 'The Cloud' by Percy Bysshe Shelley

by Sarah Doyle

Let’s be honest.  In our weather-obsessed culture, clouds have a fairly poor reputation, both meteorologically and metaphorically.  They blot out the sun, darken our mood, loom over our heads, rain on our parade – and are only tolerated when, we tell ourselves, they have a silver lining.  Most famously, perhaps, Wordsworth “wandered […]

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John Keats by William Hilton, after  Joseph Severn. National Portrait Gallery.John Keats by William Hilton, after Joseph Severn. National Portrait Gallery.

Romantic readings: 'When I have fears' by John Keats

by Suzie Grogan.

John Keats has always been ‘my’ poet.  I bought my first Collected Poems as a twelve-year-old in a wonderful bookshop in Totnes, where we were staying on holiday from our home in North London. Keats had been the subject of  a ‘Blue Peter Special Assignment’, introduced by Valerie Singleton, only a few […]

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William Wordsworth by and after Henry William Pickersgill.William Wordsworth by and after Henry William Pickersgill.

Romantic portraits: William Wordsworth by Henry William Pickersgill

by Tim Moreton

As a portrait of an extremely respected public figure by a well established contemporary portrait painter, this painting might at first sight have seemed a very straightforward candidate for acquisition by the newly formed Portrait Gallery when it was offered for purchase by the artist in 1860. William Wordsworth (1770-1850), Poet Laureate, […]

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William Wordsworth
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Jonathan KerrJonathan Kerr is a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto.

Psychology and mental disorder in Wordsworth's poetry

By Jonathan Kerr

In 1800, William Wordsworth offers a bold and, at the time, deeply controversial claim about poetry. In the Preface to Lyrical Ballads (a collection he co-authored with his friend Samuel Taylor Coleridge), Wordsworth argues that all poets should dispense with the ornate conventions of eighteenth-century verse and focus upon what he calls […]

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Unfashioned Creatures

Book review: Unfashioned Creatures by Lesley McDowell

Review by Pam Norfolk

‘Love is merely a madness,’ wrote Shakespeare but it was the poets and writers of the later Romantic period who came to love madness to distraction.

Mental disorders, sexual obsession and supernatural mystery were at the beating heart of 19th century literature… and leading the charge was Mary Shelley with her […]

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