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William Wordsworth: A Biography Paperback – 20 Mar 1997
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Top Customer Reviews
There are lots of specialist books that deal profoundly with Wordsworth's poetry and obviously they have their place on a more academic level, but they can be a little over the head of the general reader.
To start with, Hunter Davies is a man that lives in and loves the Lake District. So when he is writing about the Lake Poets, he has a head start, and given that Wordsworth's life, apart from a short period travelling, was spent living and working in the Lakes, this then gives Mr Davies a clear line of thought on how to approach Wordsworth's life.
Wordsworth and the Lakes are synonymous, and this is exactly what Hunter Davies gives you, the life story of one of England's greatest poets living amongst some of the most stunning scenery in Britain.
Yes, Juliet Barker has written what has become the definitive biography, but at nearly 1,000 pages, can be a little overwhelming for the average reader. What you get with Hunter Davies is 350 pages of exciting reading, which will give the reader just enough of a taste for a more in-depth study of Wordsworth should it be required. Certainly a good starter book for getting to know Wordsworth and the Lakes.
For anyone out there wanting to know more about the life of Wordsworth - start with this book. As Davies says in his introduction - there are 100's of books out there on detailed parts of Wordsworth's life but here in 350 pages we have a clever overview of all of Wordsworth's 80 years. It should be compulsory for all figures of note to have an easy to read biography such as this which can act as a springboard to the reading of more detailed tomes in the future.
Secondly Davies writes with genuine affection and enthusiasm that adds to the overall enjoyment of the read. Good stuff!
Otherwise, if you just want to know what Wordsworth was like, and are prepared for some extraneous detail, this is the book to tell you.