Famous English Poet William Wordsworth Biography

William Wordsworth  Famous as  Poet
William Wordsworth  Born on 07 April 1770
William Wordsworth  Born in Cumberland, England
William Wordsworth on  Died on  23 April 1850
William Wordsworth Nationality United Kingdom
William Wordsworth Works and Achievements : Lyrical Ballads, The prelude

William Wordsworth was one of the greatest English poets who, along with other poet and friend Samuel Coleridge, ushered into the English Romantic faction with the publication of their joint work Lyrical Ballads in 1798. Wordsworth is mainly known for his autobiographical poem the prelude, initially known as To Coleridge- which he expanded many times in his later life, and the work was published posthumously.

William Wordsworth also wrote a number of other poems including The Lucy poems and Poems in Two Volumes that came in year 1807. His creations helped launch the Romantic era in English literature and took it at the peak of the art for which he was awarded a civil list pension from the government in his later life. He was also appointed the Poet Laureate of England in 1843. The great bard died on 23 April 1850.

William Wordsworth Childhood & Early Life

William Wordsworth was born on 7 April 1770 in Cumberland, a place in the Lake District of England. He was second of the five children of his father John Wordsworth- who was a legal representative of James Lowther, 1st Earl of Lonsdale and mother Ann Cookson.
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Throughout his life, William remained close to his sister Dorothy, who was one year older to him and shared the same passion for nature and poem. His other siblings were Richard, John and Christopher who became lawyer, poet and a researcher respectively. William Wordsworth lost his mother in 1778 at the age of eight and five years later in 1783, he lost his father.

After his mother died, William was sent to Hawkshead grammar School for his primary education though he had attended few low quality schools in Cocker mouth, where he learned little apart from Bible. At Hawkshead, he met Mary Hutchinson, who would later become his wife.

Wordsworth wrote his first sonnet in 1787, which was published in the European Magazine and in the same year, he enrolled in St. John’s College in Cambridge. He was awarded a B.A. degree in 1791, after which he returned to Hawkshead.

Relationship with Annette Vallon

In 1791, Wordsworth visited France, which was engaged in the Revolutionary war with Britain at that time. During his stay there, he fell in love with a French woman Annette Vallon and the next year in 1792, their daughter Caroline was born. Due to the ongoing war between the two countries Wordsworth returned alone to Englandthe next year, and the two could not see each other for the next ten years.

Longing to see both child and the mother, William became traumatized and remained so until 1802, when he and his sister Dorothy visited France to see them. There are strong suggestions that William did not marry Annette though he continued to support both child and mother in the best possibly way for the rest of his life.

Evolution as a Poet

In 1793, Wordsworth’s first poetry collection was published. Though he had made his debut as a poet and gained a remarkable success, his financial condition remained meager. In 1795, he received a legacy of $ 900 from Raisley Calvert which came as an aid to his hard pressed finance.

In the same year, he met another poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge and the two developed a life-long friendship and together they published Lyrical Ballads- a collection of romantic poems- in 1798. The collection-which had an equal contribution of Wordsworth and Coleridge- met with a remarkable success.

The second edition was published in 1800 with William Wordsworth as its author which inflamed much argument in its third edition in 1802. Fourth and final edition of Lyrical Ballads came in 1805. After that William started working on an autobiographical piece that later became known as The Prelude.

At that time, he was living in Germany with his sister Dorothy, where he wrote a number of poems including his famous one The Lucy Poems. His most of the works during that period revolved around death, endurance, separation, abandonment and grief which were his own life’s reflection.
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William Wordsworth Marriage & Children

William Wordsworth married a  fellow student and friend Mary Hutchinson in 1802 and the couple had five children. Their first child John Wordsworth was born in 1803 followed by his sister Dora Wordsworth who arrived in 1804. Their third child Thomas Wordsworth was born in 1806 and was followed by Catherine Wordsworth in 1808. Their fifth and last child, who shared the same name with his father, was born in 1810.

William Wordsworth Later Life & Work

In his later life, Wordsworth began working on his philosophical poems, which he intended to publish in three parts. Meanwhile, he had started working on his autobiographical poem which was known as poem to Coleridge, though it was published posthumously with the name The Prelude. In 1807, his Poems in Two Volumes was published which gave him further recognition from people.

In 1813, Wordsworth was appointed as Distributor of Stamps for Westmorland offering an income of $400 per year. The offer made him financially secure and he moved with his family to Royal Mount in Ambleside in the same year where he lived for the rest of his life.

William Wordsworth Honors & Death

In 1838, Wordsworth was awarded an honorary Doctor of Civil Law Degree from Durham University and he received the same honor from Oxford University in 1839. In 1842, he was awarded a civil list pension from the government which ensured an income of $300 per year.

Wordsworth’s best reward came in 1843, when he was made the Poet Laureate of England.

William Wordsworth died on 23 April 1850 and was buried at St. Oswald’s church in Grasmere. His Poem to Coleridge was published posthumously as The Prelude which is recognized as his one of his best works.

William Wordsworth Timeline :

1770 – William Wordsworth was born on 7 April 1770.
1778 – William Wordsworth lost his mother in 1778.
1783 – His father John Wordsworth died.
1787 – Wordsworth wrote his first sonnet in 1787.
1791 – He was awarded a B.A. degree in 1791.
1791 – Wordsworth visited France where he met Annette.
1792 – Their daughter Caroline was born.
1793 – Wordsworth’s first poetry collection was published.
1795 – He received a legacy of $ 900 from Raisley Calvert.
1798 – Lyrical Ballads was published in 1798.
1800 – The second edition was published in 1800 with William Wordsworth as its author.
1802 – Third edition was published.
1802 – William Wordsworth married Mary Hutchinson in 1802.
1803 – Their first child John Wordsworth was born in 1803.

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