344 pages | 6 x 9
Cloth 2019 | ISBN 9780812250817 | $75.00s | Outside the Americas £62.00
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A volume in the Haney Foundation Series
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"The best and most complete work on the later poetry of William Wordsworth. Tim Fulford's readings are thoughtful, frequently brilliant, and at times border on the luxurious in their willingness to unpack the pleasures of the verse."—Michael Gamer, University of PennsylvaniaThe later poetry of William Wordsworth, popular in his lifetime and influential on the Victorians, has, with a few exceptions, received little attention from contemporary literary critics. In Wordsworth's Poetry, 1815-1845, Tim Fulford argues that the later work reveals a mature poet far more varied and surprising than is often acknowledged. Examining the most characteristic poems in their historical contexts, he shows Wordsworth probing the experiences and perspectives of later life and innovating formally and stylistically. He demonstrates how Wordsworth modified his writing in light of conversations with younger poets and learned to acknowledge his debt to women in ways he could not as a young man. The older Wordsworth emerges in Fulford's depiction as a love poet of companionate tenderness rather than passionate lament. He also appears as a political poet—bitter at capitalist exploitation and at a society in which vanity is rewarded while poverty is blamed. Most notably, he stands out as a history poet more probing and more clear-sighted than any of his time in his understanding of the responsibilities and temptations of all who try to memorialize the past.
"It is exciting to watch Tim Fulford's Wordsworth enter into dialogue with other poets, from the classics to his younger contemporaries, refiguring his own works from his evolving later perspectives, vital as opposed to fossilized, and so reshaping the conventional literary history of nineteenth-century British poetry. This is a field-altering book."—Peter J. Manning, Stony Brook University
Tim Fulford is Professor of English at De Montfort University. He is author of many books, including The Late Poetry of the Lake Poets: Romanticism Revised and Romantic Poetry and Literary Coteries: The Dialect of the Tribe. He is coeditor of Robert Southey: Poetical Works 1811-38 and the online publication The Collected Letters of Robert Southey.