If you attempt to read The Prelude on your own, be prepared for subtleties in writing that are no longer the norm in today's post-deconstructionist era of literature. To fully appreciate the depth of this author's mind, you should have a solid foundation in English Romantic literature, not something commonly embraced or taught by today's Marxist/Feminist English professors in Western universities. The book is an epic adventure, a bildungsroman, of a young Englishman's mind during the turn of the century in post revolutionary Europe. Wordsworth masterfully intermixes the developing philosophy of a young protagonist against the backdrop of a society thrust into the Industrial Age, filled with doubt and uncertainty and relying solely upon values gleamed from personal revelation or experience. He is to the English countryside what Joseph Conrad is to the sea and what Proust is to French provincialism. It is not a read for the fainthearted or easily distracted, YouTube generation, but if you are one of those rare connoisseurs of classic literature (or a tortured graduate student like I was), then you will find the challenge of approaching and interpreting this book with a mixed sense of frustrating ambivalence and fascination. It is a dinosaur, to be sure, but for some reason, contemporary mankind is still fascinated with fossils that provide us with clues to how things once were and what links them to how things now are.