Wordsworth, William

Rare signature of the leading English "Lake District" Romantic poet

Price: $350.00

Description:
(1770-1850) Major English poet who, with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, helped to launch the Romantic Age in English literature with their joint publication, "Lyrical Ballads" (1798). His magnum opus is considered to be "The Prelude", a semi-autobiographical poem he revised and expanded a several times. After his death from pleurisy on April 23, 1850, his widow Mary published his lengthy autobiographical "poem to Coleridge" as "The Prelude" several months after his death which came to be widely recognized as his masterpiece. After the death of Robert Southey in 1843 Wordsworth became Poet Laureate, the only poet laureate to write no official verses. Born in the Lake District in NW England, he was taught to read by his mother and after her death in 1778, was educated in Lancashire in Cambria. He made his debut as a writer in 1787 with a sonnet in "The European Magazine". He graduated from St. Johns College, Cambridge, in 1791. 1793 saw the first publication of poems by Wordsworth, in the collections "An Evening Walk" and "Descriptive Sketches". In 1795 he met Coleridge in Somerset and they developed a close friendship. Wordsworth and Coleridge produced "Lyrical Ballads" (1798), an important work in the English Romantic movement. One of Wordsworth's most famous poems, "Tintern Abbey", was published in this collection with Coleridge's "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner". The 1800 2nd edition had only Wordsworth listed as the author, and included a preface to the poems, augmented significantly in the 1802 3rd edition. In this preface Wordsworth discusses what he sees as the elements of a new type of verse, based on the "real language of men", avoiding the poetic diction of much 18th-century verse. Wordsworth also gives his famous definition of poetry as "the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility," and calls his own poems in the book "experimental". A 4th (final) edition was published in 1805. Wordsworth, sister Dorothy and Coleridge travelled to Germany in the autumn of 1798. During the harsh winter of 179899 Wordsworth began work on the autobiographical piece that was later titled "The Prelude". He also wrote a number of other famous poems there including "The Lucy Poems". In autumn 1799, Wordsworth returned to England and settled in Grasmere in the Lake District with poets Coleridge and Robert Southey nearby. They came to be known as the "Lake Poets". In this period many of Wordsworth's poems revolved around themes of death, endurance, separation and grief. In 1810, Wordsworth and Coleridge were estranged over the latter's opium addiction, and in 1812, his son Thomas died at 6, six months after the death of 3-year-old daughter Catherine. In 1811, thanks to friend Samuel Rogers, he was appointed Distributor of Stamps for Westmorland, and the stipend of 400 a year made him financially secure. In 1813, he moved to Rydal Mount, Ambleside, where he spent the rest of his life. in 1823, Wordsworth mended relations with Coleridge, they fully reconciled by 1828, when they toured the Rhineland. In 1842, the government awarded him a pension of 300 a year. After the death of daughter Dora in 1847, he stopped writing new material. 1 1/4 x 4 piece with full signature of Wordsworth, dated in another hand in pencil, affixed to a white sheet which is itself affixed to a 10 1/2 x 7 1/2 sheet with note in another hand at top stating: "written by W. Wordsworth shortly before his death June 1850". Below that is a carte de visite portrait of Wordsworth and another cdv of a memorial to Wordsworth. Comes with 1978 receipt from Goodspeed's Book Shop, Inc. of Boston, legendary book and autograph firm.

Condition: Good, signed piece has some mottling, few letters slightly lighter, a totally unrelated item affixed to verso.
Type:Signature






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