Virginia Lucas Poetry Scrapbook

Biography of William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth is one of the most notable Romantic poets, known for a myriad of nature-inspired poems. He was born in northwest England on April 7, 1770, and since childhood, he fostered a profound admiration for nature. In addition to spending much of his time walking around natural landscapes, Wordsworth also lived much of his childhood in the presence of his sister, Dorothy Wordsworth, a fellow writer herself.
Wordsworth attended Hawkshead Grammar School in 1778 and entered St. John’s College in the year of 1787. He published his very first work in this year, a sonnet featured in the European Magazine. In the year of 1790, Wordsworth travelled to France, which was undergoing a revolution at the time. His trip to a revolutionary France was another factor that influenced his way of thinking, as he was particularly inspired by the newfound ideas of liberty and equality. During this time, he also fell in love with a woman named Annette Vallon. He had a daughter with her whom they named Anne Caroline; however, the couple remained unmarried. As time progressed, Wordsworth became disillusioned with his initial appreciation of the French Revolution. After the Reign of Terror, he, among many other Romantic authors of the time, felt the ideals of liberty betrayed by the violence of this event.
After graduating, Wordsworth published his first book of poems, titled An Evening Walk and Descriptive Sketches. He met a fellow Romantic poet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and collaborated on a book of poems with him, featuring a few of his most well-known works, including “The Prelude.” During this time, Wordsworth’s writing flourished as he began to develop his characteristic spontaneous and passionate poems which illustrated the beauty of nature and the infinitesimal qualities of human emotion. In the year of 1807, Wordsworth published another book of poems, including many of his famous works, such as “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” and “My Heart Leaps Up.”
After this period of brilliant literary accomplishments, Wordsworth’s poetry began to lose some of its initial luster. In the 1820s, his poems saw a decline in emotional ardour, no doubt a consequence of his growing disillusionment with the French Revolution. On April 23, 1850, he died of pleurisy and was buried in St. Oswald’s church graveyard.
Citation : Pettinger, Tejvan. “Biography of William Wordsworth“, Oxford,, 22nd Jan. 2010