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03.01.2018

Elizabeth Craven: Georgian feminist

 by Julia Gasper   Elizabeth Craven (1750-1828) is a writer who is remembered today for her travelogue, an account of a protracted tour of Europe and the Levant made in 1785-6, and her Memoirs written in later life.  (1) What the travelogue does not mention is that she was making her journey in the company […]

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22.12.2017

Answers to the Christmas quiz…

1 a) Shelley b) Keats c) Wordsworth d) Coleridge e) Byron 2 a) Coleridge b) Wordsworth c) Keats – he wrote part of Endymion while staying at Magdalen Hall in 1817. d) Byron e) Shelley – in University College 3 a) Shelley – his first wife, Harriet Westbrook b) Coleridge c) Byron – Annabella Milbanke, […]

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18.12.2017

Finding Mary Wordsworth's voice

by Erica Pratt   A tour of Dove Cottage always starts in the ‘Houseplace’. Guests enter, blinking against the darkness, and are invited to take a seat by the glowing fire or read extracts from Dorothy’s Grasmere Journal. The Houseplace is a warm, homely place and it isn’t hard to imagine food cooking on the […]

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06.12.2017

Wordsworth’'s poem 'The Primrose of the Rock': From Pythagoras and Pantheism to Christianity

by Fred Blick   Wordsworth’s contemplation of the primrose, as seen in ‘The Primrose of the Rock’ of 1831/5, illustrates the development of his spiritual beliefs concerning death and renewal. The poem reveals a change from a playing with the idea of continuity by Pythagorean transmigration of the soul to a conventional belief in orthodox, […]

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23.11.2017

The Language of Semblance in The Prelude

by Chris Townsend There are features of Wordsworth’s poetry that are so obvious as to not really need stating; he was obviously concerned with visual perception, and he very clearly had an interest in nature. But sometimes when we let the most obvious parts of poems slip by us, they silently carry with them a […]

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13.11.2017

Women behind the words

Melissa Mitchell, Assistant Curator at the Wordsworth Trust, talks about a new digital exhibition at Grasmere William Wordsworth was a lucky man. In his sister Dorothy, his wife Mary, and his daughter Dora, he had an endless supply of encouragement and love. Together, they were homemakers, a support network – but perhaps more remarkably, they were […]

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01.11.2017

Sara Hutchinson, Coleridge's 'Asra'

by Adam Roberts ‘Asra’ was Coleridge’s private name for Sara Hutchinson (1775-1835). There she is, in the image below (from Richard Holmes’s Coleridge: Darker Reflections, 1998); on the left Wordsworth’s own silhouette of her, and on the right a figure from Ciro Ferri’s ‘The Marriage of Boas and Ruth’, that Coleridge saw in Bolton Abbey in […]

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23.10.2017

'Becoming Manfred': Tchaikovsky and Byron

by David Perkins Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s festival overture, The Year 1812, (popularly known as the 1812 Overture), is probably one of his most famous works. Tchaikovsky didn’t think much of it as it was a commission piece to open the All-Russian Arts and Industry Exhibition. “It is impossible to set about without repugnance music that […]

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