Poems Without Frontiers

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William Wordsworth 1770- 1850

Wordsworth was born in Cockermouth in the picturesque lake district that heavily influenced his work. The parental home was an imposing house where he could benefit from his fathers large library. After local schooling, he took a degree at Cambridge and visited revolutionary France where his affair with Annette Vallon produced a child, Caroline, but, in financial straights and in deteriorating political circumstances, left her and their child for England. He returned in 1802 and assured her financially.

He began publication in 1793 and, together with his sister, Dorothy, and his fellow poet Coleridge, became the leading exponent of the new Romantic poetry unbound by 18th century disciplines. He lived briefly in Germany at the close of the decade but returned to the lake district where he and Dorothy spent the remainder of their lives first at Dove Cottage then, from 1813, at Rydal Mount where he also became a Stamp (ie duty) official. He married Mary Hutchinson by whom he had five children.

He was appointed poet laureate in 1843 and died in 1850.