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The Prelude: The Four Texts (1798, 1799, 1805, 1850) (Penguin Classics) Paperback – 28 Sep 1995

3.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 736 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Rev Ed edition (28 Sept. 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140433694
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140433692
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.3 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 44,245 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

From the Back Cover

The great Romantic poem of human consciousness, The Prelude takes as its theme 'the growth of a poet's mind'. In its search for the origins of the adult personality, The Prelude takes the reader back to the formative moments of childhood and youth: the baby at the breast, the boy ranging over the Cumbrian fells, the revolutionary undergraduate. In many ways it can be seen as the first modern poem, challenging Milton in its redefinition of epic, as Milton challenged Homer and Virgil. This new Penguin English Poets edition of The Prelude contains the brief first draft, Was It for This, composed in 1798; The Prelude in two books completed in 1799; and The Prelude in its 1805 and 1850 versions, printed here in parallel texts. The editor provides an invaluable introduction to the texts and fuller, more detailed notes than in any previous edition, as well as significant textual variants and a biographical table of dates.

About the Author

William Wordsworth was born in the Lake District in 1770 and died there eighty years later in 1850. He had three brothers and a sister, Dorothy, to whom he was extremely close. As an undergraduate at Cambridge, Wordsworth travelled widely and wrote poetry. He spent his twenties as a wanderer in France, Wales, London, the Lakes, Dorset and Germany. In France he fathered a child who he did not meet until she was nine, due to the war. In 1795 he was reunited with Dorothy and met Coleridge, who was to be a particular influence on his poetry. He became Poet Laureate in 1843.


Jonathan Wordsworth is descended from William's younger brother Christopher, is Chairman of the Wordsworth Trust and a Lecturer in Romantic Studies at Oxford.



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