Fun Facts Friday: William Wordsworth

April 7, 2023

William Wordsworth (7 April, 1770 – 23 April, 1850) was an English poet and journalist.  He is considered one of the founders of English Romanticism and is best known for Lyrical Ballads.

Fun Facts Friday: William Wordsworth
Books by William Wordsworth*

Fun Facts about William Wordsworth:

  1. William Wordsworth was born to John and Ann Cookson Wordsworth. They lived in Cockermouth, Cumberland which is in the Lake District of England. That area would become closely associated with him for centuries after his death.
  2. Aa a child at the Lake District Wordsworth got his appreciation of the natural world.
  3. Dorothy Wordsworth, his sister, was born a year after him and became a successful poet and diarist herself. Their older brother, Richard, became a lawyer. John, born after Dorothy, as a ship captain and died when it was wrecked. Christopher Wordsworth, the youngest sibling, went on to become Master of Trinity College, Cambridge.
  4. The family lived in a large mansion, as John Wordsworth was the legal representative of James Lowther, 1st Earl of Lonsdale. Even though John was away from home often, he encouraged William reading and memorizing verse by John Milton, Shakespeare, and Edmund Spenser.
    Young William also had permission to use his father’s library.
  5. He first started writing poetry in grammar school. He published his first item, a sonnet, in The European Magazine, 1787. However his first publication of poems in a collection was in 1793.
  6. He had fallen in love with a French woman, Annette Vallon when visiting France in 1792, and the couple had a child out of wedlock while living in France, Caroline. Wordsworth left France before meeting her, but he came back to in 1802, when Caroline was 9 years old to meet her. The same year he married Mary Hutchinson, whom he knew since childhood. The couple had five children.
  7. Later one William Wordsworth immortalized his visit with Caroline in the sonnet It is a beauteous evening, calm and free.  Mary impressed upon William that he needs to do more for Caroline, and when she got married, he sent her£30 a year until 1835.
  8. William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge were close friends. They even traveled to Germany together (with Dorothy), but while Coleridge was intellectually simulated, Wordsworth was homesick. When they came back Wordsworth settled back in the Lake District.
  9. The Prelude is considered to be the most important work of English Romanticism (a literary and intellectual movement). Wordsworth worked on the poem his whole life.
  10. In 1847, Dora, his daughter passed away and William Wordsworth lost his will to write. He died at Rydal Mount. Three months later Mary, his wife, published The Prelude posthumously.

Books by William Wordsworth*

Zohar – Man of la Book
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account, the money is usually spent on books


About William Wordsworth | Academy of American Poets

Romanticism | Definition, Characteristics, Artists, History, Art, Poetry, Literature, & Music | Britannica

William Wordsworth | Poetry Foundation

William Wordsworth – Wikipedia


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Fun Facts Friday: William Wordsworth
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Fun Facts Friday: William Wordsworth
William Wordsworth was an English poet and journalist. He is considered one of the founders of English Romanticism and is best known for Lyrical Ballads
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Man of la Book - A Bookish Blog
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