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23
May

Hay Festival: Jonathan Bate on William Wordsworth

Award-winning historian Sir Jonathan Bate talks about Radical Wordsworth - a dazzling new biography of Wordsworth’s life as a thinker and poetical innovator, published to mark the 250th anniversary of his birth.

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Saturday 23rd May, 2020 @ 7:30 pm

  • Questions & Answers
  • Talk

Free

About the Event

Award-winning historian Sir Jonathan Bate talks about Radical Wordsworth - a dazzling new biography of Wordsworth’s life as a thinker and poetical innovator, published to mark the 250th anniversary of his birth.

William Wordsworth wrote the first great poetic autobiography. We owe to him the idea that places of outstanding natural beauty should become what he called ‘a sort of national property’. He changed forever the way we think about childhood, about the sense of the self, about our connection to the natural environment, and about the purpose of poetry.

He was born among the mountains of the English Lake District. He walked into the French Revolution, had a love affair and an illegitimate child, before witnessing horrific violence in Paris. His friendship with Samuel Taylor Coleridge was at the core of the Romantic movement. As he retreated from radical politics and into an imaginative world within, his influence would endure as he shaped the ideas of thinkers, writers and activists throughout the nineteenth century in both Britain and the United States. 

About the Book

Radical Wordsworth
Radical Wordsworth

Jonathan Bate

Publisher:HarperCollins Publishers

Publication date:2 Apr 2020

ISBN:9780008167424

4.14 out of 5
7 reviews
"packs in a lot of erudition"
The Sunday Times
"An entertaining biography celebrates the young radical romantic, not the elderly bore"
The Times
"Devastating dalliance among the daffodils: When Coleridge found Wordsworth in bed with the love of his life"
Daily Mail
"Gill’s readiness to find interest and value in Wordsworth’s middle and old age is indeed one of the most rewarding aspects of his biography."
The Guardian
"Jonathan Bate’s crisp biography sheds light on the poet’s inspiration — and long decline"
Financial Times
"...(an) inspiriting, fleet-footed book, in which he embroiders together life, poetry and landscape with such dexterity"
The Observer
"To Jonathan Bate, Wordsworth matters principally as a prophet of nature"
Literary Review