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From his work editing Wordsworth's Juvenile Poetry (1785-1790), Duncan Wu came to understand that much of the content of the poet's later great work drew on early childhood experiences, particularly delayed mourning arising from his parents' deaths. This original study is the first fully to investigate the impact of this formative experience on Wordsworth's poetry and to integrate it into a critical account of how his art developed from 1787 to 1813. In doing so it seeks to explain the importance of Wordsworth's great epic, The Recluse, to his work as a whole, and looks at how some of it got written and why it was left unfinished at his death. The book includes 20 illustrations from original notebooks retained by the Wordsworth Trust in Grasmere, and, among its numerous discoveries, presents the first annotated reading text of The White Doe of Rylstone (1808) with its important 'Advertizement'. Written in an accessible manner, this revealing study will be of great interest to students and researchers of Wordsworth's poetry.
Duncan Wu is a Fellow of St Catherinea s College, Oxford, and University Lecturer in English Literature. His numerous publications include A Companion to Romanticism (1998), Romanticism: An Anthology with CD--ROM, (Second Edition, 1998), Romanticism: A Critical Reader (1995), Romantic Women Poets: An Anthology (1997), an edition of William Wordswortha s The Five--Book Prelude (1997) and of William Hazlitta s The Plain--Speaker: Key Essays (1998), all available from Blackwell. He is also the editor of a nine volume edition of The Selected Writings of William Hazlitt (1998).