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20.01.2017

Keats – Strength in beauty: an interview with Nicholas Roe

An interview with Wordsworth Trust trustee, Nicholas Roe,  adapted from material by Helen Tope Few writers have a more enduring legacy than the English Romantic poet John Keats. Born in October 1795, Keats set out as a medical student studying at Guy’s Hospital and was eventually recognized as a central figure of English Romanticism. We […]

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06.01.2017

Anne Finch: A Pre-Romantic?

by Tess Somervell At Christmas, 1819, William Wordsworth presented to Lady Mary Lowther, the thirty-four-year-old daughter of his patron, an album of ‘poems and extracts’. The album included many of the great seventeenth- and eighteenth-century poets: Marvell, Beaumont, Pope, Thomson, Cowper, three sonnets by Shakespeare, and the female poets Laetitia Pilkington and Anne Killigrew. But […]

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25.12.2016

Romantic readings: ‘To My Sister’, by William Wordsworth

by Eavan Boland I’ve always believed there are certain pieces of writing which are magic doors in locked houses. Just as we think we’ll never get entry, never be able to go in, this one door springs open at our slightest touch. And after that we can come and go as we please. Wordsworth’s “To […]

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10.12.2016

Shelley in the 21st century

by Graham Henderson Most writing on Shelley seems frustratingly designed for scholarly audiences and much of it is almost unreadable by anyone outside a university setting. Most of the books and articles written between 1980 and around 2005 are written in a scholarly style that limits readership to a handful of people: esoteric, jargon-filled, arcane […]

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01.12.2016

Shelley in London: Poland Street

by Anna Mercer   Soho is my favourite part of London. I love walking from Oxford Circus to Leicester Square, dipping into Covent Garden. I don’t know much about the history of Soho (reading recommendations welcome!), but a stroll around this part of the capital today provides an air of history and also a modern, […]

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18.11.2016

Romantic readings: Wordsworth's 'The Rainbow'

by Fred Blick   Wordsworth does not have a reputation for punning, as do Shakespeare and Charles Lamb; but it is well known that he loved Geometry. ‘The Rainbow’ and the ‘Ode’ gave him a rare opportunity for making a serious, meaningful, geometrical pun. It was a pun which he exploited in two other poems. […]

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09.11.2016

Fictionalising 1816: The death of Harriet Shelley

by Lynn Shepherd The Shelleys and their circle have inspired hundreds of books, plays and films over the last two centuries, and there have been many accounts of that famous summer they spent together in 1816, when Frankenstein was conceived. But all the same there remain many inexplicable gaps and strange silences, where the biographers […]

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21.10.2016

Meeting Keats on the Spanish Stairs

by Ellen O’Neill October 21 is a fateful date for John Keats and myself: he landed in Italy in 1820 in a last-ditched effort to find relief in the warmth of the Italian sun to cure his diseased body, and I landed on the earth (as did Coleridge). Oh, the streets of Rome are filled […]

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