Wordsworth : an inner life /
Duncan Wu.
Oxford [England] : Blackwell Publishers, c2002.
xviii, 378 p. : ill.
0631206388 (alk. paper)
More Details
Oxford [England] : Blackwell Publishers, c2002.
0631206388 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Duncan Wu is a Fellow of St Catherine's College, Oxford, and University Lecturer in English Literature
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2002-06-01:
For the most part, critics have been chary of delving into the verse Wordsworth wrote during his teenage years. This provocative study investigates fully the impact of formative experiences and integrates them into a critical account of how the poet's art developed from 1787 to 1813. It does so mainly through a close examination of three pivotal periods. The first, when Wordsworth lost both parents by the age of 13: how the trauma shaped his creativity onward. The second, his momentous collaboration with Coleridge: their collision of temperaments and opinions during the golden years of 1797-98. The third, the death of his brother John in 1805: a loss intensified by the death of his daughter Catherine, not yet four, in 1812, and by the death of his six-year-old son Thomas six months later. Wu (St. Catherine's College, Oxford) emphasizes Wordsworth's griefs, guilts, and suffering as "the primary means of understanding the nature of Wordsworthian transcendence ... to comprehend his evolution as writer, determined as it was by the intense and enduring emotions that shaped his creative power." Enhancing this volume is an explication of "The Recluse" and an annotated reading of "The White Doe of Rylstone." All students and scholars of Wordsworth will find this study highly rewarding. G. A. Cevasco St. John's University (NY)
Review Quotes
"A major achievement. A marvellous combination of profound scholarship and equally profound speculative insight." Professor Stephen Gill, Oxford University " Wordsworth: An Inner Life shows that it is still possible to say new things about a life and a literary oeuvre which might seem, in outline, all too familiar." Times Literary Supplement "This is traditional scholarship at its best, attentive to detail and immersed in a welter of poetic sources, which will no doubt be studied and absorbed by bright graduate students and Wordsworth experts." Times Higher Education Supplement "In his reconstruction of Wordsworth's "inner life", Wu offers a compelling blend of biography and literary criticism." Religious Studies Review
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, June 2002
Guardian UK, August 2004
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Back Cover Copy
From his work editing Wordsworth's Juvenile Poetry (1785-1790), Duncan Wu came to understand that much of the content of the poet's later great work drew on early childhood experiences, particularly delayed mourning arising from his parents' deaths. This original study is the first fully to investigate the impact of this formative experience on Wordsworth's poetry and to integrate it into a critical account of how his art developed from 1787 to 1813. In doing so it seeks to explain the importance of Wordsworth's great epic, The Recluse, to his work as a whole, and looks at how some of it got written and why it was left unfinished at his death. The book includes 20 illustrations from original notebooks retained by the Wordsworth Trust in Grasmere, and, among its numerous discoveries, presents the first annotated reading text of The White Doe of Rylstone (1808) with its important 'Advertizement'. Written in an accessible manner, this revealing study will be of great interest to students and researchers of Wordsworth's poetry.
Bowker Data Service Summary
This original study investigates the impact of Wordsworth's early childhood experiences on his poetry and integrates it into a critical account of how his art developed from 1787 to 1813.
Main Description
This original study is the first fully to acknowledge the impact of early grief on Wordsworth's poetry and to integrate it into a critical account of how his art developed from 1787 to 1813.
Main Description
This original study is the first fully to acknowledge the impact of early grief on Wordsworth's poetry and to integrate it into a critical account of how his art developed from 1787 to 1813. Looks at the impact of grief on Wordsworth's great poetry. Explains the importance of the poet's great, unfinished epic 'The Recluse' to his work as a whole. Includes 20 illustrations from original notebooks. Contains the first annotated text of 'The White Doe of Rylstone'.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrationsp. vii
Prefacep. viii
Acknowledgementsp. xii
A Note on Textsp. xiv
Abbreviationsp. xv
'Perhaps my pains might be beguil'd'p. 1
'In black Helvellyn's inmost womb'p. 20
'Charg'd by magic'p. 43
'The world is poisoned at the heart'p. 69
'Their life is hidden with God'p. 88
'The vital spirit of a perfect form'p. 118
October 1798-April 1799p. 118
Between Parts I and II: April-May 1799p. 134
May-December 1799p. 146
'Serious musing and self-reproach'p. 167
'I yearn towards some philosophic song'p. 189
'That vast Abiding-place'p. 210
'I only look'd for pain and grief'p. 231
'Forbearance & self-sacrifice'p. 257
'O teach me calm submission to thy will'p. 275
Epiloguep. 303
The White Doe of Rylstone (1808 Text) and its 'Advertizement'p. 316
Bibliographyp. 347
Indexp. 361
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem