Wordsworth Circle

International quarterly journal focusing on contemporary studies of literature, culture, and society primarily in England during Romantic period.

Articles from Vol. 34, No. 2, Spring

Dorothy Wordsworth: Story-Teller
Dorothy Wordsworth's way of telling a story was to relate what happened, to tell it how it was. As a young girl, she did not put together a "History of England" by a "partial, prejudiced & ignorant Historian" as Jane Austen did; she wrote no "Tales...
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"Hath Not a Jew Eyes?": Edmund Kean and the Sympathetic Shylock
I went to see him the first night of his appearing in Shylock. I remember it well. The boxes were empty, and the pit not half fun: 'some quantity of barren spectators and idle renters were thinly scattered to make up the show.' The whole...
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John Wilson to William Wordsworth (1802): A New Text
John Wilson was profoundly affected by his first reading of Lyrical Ballads. At age sixteen in June, 1802, he wrote a remarkably insightful letter to Wordsworth praising the volume--to which Wordsworth replied ["William Wordsworth's Letter to John...
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Romantic Supernaturalism: The Case Study as Gothic Tale
The Romantic period witnessed advances in rational and empirical modes of intellectual inquiry and, paradoxically, an increased interest in the supernatural. Ghosts were perceived as mental apparitions, illusions, and hallucinations and as supernatural...
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"Scorn Not the Sonnet": Pushkin and Wordsworth
In 1831, when Aleksandr Sergeevich Pushkin (1799-1837) asked a friend to have a St. Petersburg bookseller "send me Crabbe, Wodsworth [sic], Southey, and Schakspear [sic]" (Shaw, 2:482), he had already read Wordsworth, with sympathetic comprehension,...
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Shelley's Poetics, Wave Dynamics, and the Telling Rhythm of Complementarity
With the discovery of superstring theory, musical metaphors take on a startling reality, for the theory suggests that the microscopic landscape is suffused with tiny strings whose vibrational pattern orchestrate the evolution of the cosmos....
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Skepticism and Surmise in Humphry Davy
Humphry Davy (1778-1829) became the best-known natural philosopher in Regency England in part by applying voltaic electricity to isolate new substances--including the new metals he named "sodium" and "potasium." The experiments impressed other philosophers...
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Wordsworth and Lyrical Archaeology: The Poetics of Prehistorical Imagination in "The Brothers"
Compared to equally familiar poems in Lyrical Ballads, "The Brothers" received little attention, despite Wordsworth's high opinion of it--at one point he intended to make it the first of the new poems to appear in the second volume of the 1800 edition...
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Wordsworth and the Language of Forms: The Collected Poems of 1815
In a preface to the 'Poems' before us, which is not remarkable for clearness of idea nor for humility of tone, a fresh attempt is made to give that air of invention and novelty to Mr. W.'s writings which it seems to be his main object to...
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Wordsworth's Heroics
By "Wordsworth's Heroics," I do not mean the heroism of Wordsworth's life, which was often very great, but the heroism of his poetry; or rather, the way his poetry dealt with an idea of the poetically heroic that he inherited from his eighteenth-century...
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Wordsworth's Prelude, Tracey Emin, and Romantic Autobiography
Controversy over a contemporary art object rarely leads to re-evaluating a nineteenth-century literary tradition, but that is what happened after the critical debate about Tracey Emin's "My Bed," an installation created in 1998. Emin's entry for the...
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