Wordsworth's Prelude of 1805

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Created: 2011-09-06 12:27
Institution: Faculty of English
Description: Tuesday 26 October 2010 saw a marathon event in the Faculty of English. Faculty members read all of Wordsworth's substantial poem "The Prelude" live and online. The entire reading took approximately ten hours.

This reading is a deliberate sequel to our reading of Milton's great poem "Paradise Lost" (twelve hours long) in 2008, which was part of the celebrations for Milton's four-hundredth birthday.

Wordsworth fought as a poet to break free from Milton's influence, and yet he chose to write his greatest poem, "The Prelude", in a style which imitates - and in some lines, directly borrows from - Milton's poem.

Yet the topic is totally different. "The Prelude" is an autobiography, and surveys Wordsworth's childhood, time in Cambridge and early travels. It thinks through his ideas about the imagination, individual poetic genius, revolution and youthful rebellion, writing's relationship to everyday life, the awesomeness of nature, and in particular the Lake District (which Wordsworth and his friends made famous). We'll be reading the version which Wordsworth wrote in 1805, while he was at the height of his poetic powers. (He later rewrote and, in most people's opinion, ruined, the poem as he aged.)

The readers include thirteen members of the Faculty of English in Cambridge, including several authorities on Wordsworth such as Prof. Heather Glen and Dr Philip Connell, and on the Romantic poets more generally, such as Dr Mina Gorji and Dr Paul Chirico.
 

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(04) Book Fourth - Summer Vacation

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Collection: Wordsworth's Prelude of 1805

Institution: Faculty of English

Created: Tue 6 Sep 2011


(07) Book Seventh - Residence in London

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Collection: Wordsworth's Prelude of 1805

Institution: Faculty of English

Created: Wed 7 Sep 2011


(13) Book Thirteenth - Conclusion

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Collection: Wordsworth's Prelude of 1805

Institution: Faculty of English

Created: Thu 8 Sep 2011