Life history of William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth Profile

Full Name: William Wordsworth

Birth Date: 7 April 1770

Birth Place: Wordsworth House, Cockermouth Cumberland, England

Death Date: 23 April 1850

Death Place: Cumberland, England

Cause of death: Pleurisy

Buried Place: St Oswald's Church, Grasmere

Death Age: 80

Nationality: British 

Occupation: Poet

Genre: Poetry

Literary movement: Romanticism

Alma mater: St John's College, Cambridge, England

Parents: John Wordsworth (Father), Ann Cookson Wordsworth (Mother)

Number of Siblings: 4

1. Dorothy Wordsworth (Sister)
2. John Wordsworth (Brother)
3. Richard Wordsworth (Brother)
4. Christopher Wordsworth (Brother)

Spouse (s): Mary Hutchinson (1802–1850; his death).

Number of Children: 6

1. Dora Wordsworth
2. Caroline Vallon
3. Anne-Caroline Wordsworth
4. Catherine Wordsworth
5. John Wordsworth
6. Thomas Wordsworth

Main Theme of William Wordsworth Poetry

Nature, Memory, Mortality, Humanity, Religion, Transcendence and Connectivity

William Wordsworth Notable works

1. Lyrical Ballads (1798)
2. The Prelude (1850)
3. The Excursion (1814)
4. Ecclesiastical Sketches (1822)
5. The Solitary Reaper
6. The World Is Too Much with Us
7. Ode: Intimations of Immortality
8. Tintern Abbey
9. The Ruined Cottage
10. Michael
11. The Recluse
12. The Excursion
13. To the Cuckoo
14. My Heart Leaps Up
15. I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud / The Daffodils
16. Revolution and Independence
17. Lucky Poem
18. London
19. Rainbow
20. Written in March
21. The Borderers (only drama)
Life history of William Wordsworth
Wordsworth Awards and Achievements

1. Honorary Doctorate of Civil Law from Durham University 1838
2. Honorary Doctorate of Civil Law from Oxford University 1839
3. Civil list Pension from government 1842
4. Became poet Laureate 1843

About William Wordsworth Early Life

William Wordsworth was a major English romantic poet. He was born on 7 April 1770, in Cockermouth, Cumberland, Lake District of England. He was the second child among five. He was born into a remarkable family. His father was an attorney. At a very early age, he lost his parents. In 1777, when he was only seven, his mother died. And that year, he first went to Grammar School. In his childhood, he learnt poetry of Shakespeare and Milton from his father. His father died in 1783 and then he became dependent on his relatives. Dorothy, his younger sister, was his best friend.

Of his parents, his mother was more concerned about this child and had studied the boy too minutely. Having comprehended her son, she made a comment regarding him which turned to be an ‘oracle’ in the long run. Her prophecy was that son-
“Would be remarkable, either for good or evil”

William Wordsworth Education

His education started at Hawkshead Grammar School. He was an avid reader from his early boyhood, and he would surely read whatever book came his way. His joined St. John's College, Cambridge when he was seventeen years old. William Wordsworth wrote his first sonnet poem in 1787 when he was only seventeen years old. In 1787, he went to St. John's College, Cambridge. William Wordsworth graduated from that college in 1791 when he was only twenty-one years old.

This period of his life is reflected in The Prelude. In real life, this very man was utter reverse to the mood as reflected through his poems. The person whose pen could visualize and enliven calmness and serenity had been “of a moody and violent temper” in real life and his mother despaired of him alone among her five children. The poet lost his mother at the age of eight only but the influence of his mother remained deep-rooted in his Psyche throughout his life. So William Wordsworth could utter in remembrance of his mother as -

The heart of all our leanings and our loves.

William Wordsworth University Life

His student life at the university was sheer charmless and aimless to him similar to that of many other famous authors. At university, William Wordsworth was more attracted by then “ Unroofed school of Nature” than the classics. He achieved his education practically from flowers, hills, stars, rivulets, fountains from nature as a whole. William Wordsworth is known as “the foster child of nature”. The Prelude is one of the best creations. His every poem expounds the following features-

1. William Wordsworth loved to remain alone but was never lonely in the lap of nature.

2. In the poem nature, he could feel the existence of some living entity who was real and bosom, but unseen and uncommunicative.

3. His expressions of rapture complied with those of ours.

Then Wordsworth went with his friends on a walking tour to France and Italy. He spent the year there.

William Wordsworth Relations with Annette Vallon

William Wordsworth returned to France and took a tour of Europe that included the Alps and Italy in 1791. While in France, Wordsworth fell in love with a beautiful French woman named Annette Vallon. Later Annette gave birth to their child, Caroline in 1792. Because of his poorness, Wordsworth returned alone to England in 1793.  

In his later life, Wordsworth supported Annette and his daughter as best he could. Wordsworth could not be seeing Annette and his daughter Caroline several years because of war between France and Britain. Critics said that Wordsworth would have been depressed during the 1790s. Wordsworth and his sister, Dorothy, visited Annette and his daughter Caroline in France in 1802.

William Wordsworth Marriage

In 1802, William Wordsworth married a childhood friend name, Mary Hutchinson.

Influenced French Revolution

He was greatly influenced by the French Revolution in 1789. He was a great admirer of the French Revolution in his early life.

William Wordsworth Friendship with S.T. Coleridge

Wordsworth had a close friendship with another romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Wordsworth also travelled with Dorothy and Coleridge. They jointly published a book named ‘Lyrical Ballads’ in 1798. In this book, they explained their new poetic theory. ‘Lyrical Ballads’ is generally considered to have marked the beginning of English Romantic movement in literature.

Interesting facts about William Wordsworth

👉William Wordsworth is prominent of the romantic poet's.

👉He was the pioneer of the romantic poets.

👉Other Romantic poets have accepted his leadership.

👉He could give a definite philosophy of nature in his poems.

👉William Wordsworth poetry became epoch-making.

👉He was the poet laureate of England.

👉Wordsworth's poetry had two distinguished aspects one is the subject and other the style of poetry.

👉He generally chooses humble and rustic life as the subject matter of his poetry.

👉Wordsworth says that there is no essential difference between the language of prose and poetry.

👉Wordsworth is prosaic in almost all his poems.

👉There is no sense of humour in his poems but readers can trace a calm melancholy mood in his poems.

👉Wordsworth's egoism is apparent in his poetry.

👉He is called the “Sublime Egoism.”

👉His best-known poems deal with his personal experiences and his spiritual development.

👉Wordsworth's lyrical mood finds a better expression in his sonnet.

👉His treatment of nature and dealing with natural objects show his chief glory as a poet.

👉During his lifetime William Wordsworth wrote an estimated 387 poems.

👉William Wordsworth wrote 523 sonnets.

👉Wordsworth was deeply inspired by his sister, Dorothy, who kept copious notes in journals most of her life. Dorothy doted on her brother, cared for him, and asked nothing of him. He relied on her as his eyes and ears and used her journals frequently as inspiration in his work.

William Wordsworth Important Questions

1. What is Wordsworth most famous poem?
Answer: I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud/ Daffodils
is the most famous poem of William Wordsworth.

2. Who was Mary Hutchinson?
Answer: Mary Hutchinson was a wife of William Wordsworth. She was a short story writer, socialite, model and a member of the Bloomsbury Group.

3. What is the full name of Mary Hutchinson?
Answer: Mary Barnes Hutchinson
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