Wordsworth in Early American Criticism

By Annabel Newton | Go to book overview

PREFACE

Volumes have been written about Wordsworth, and new books and pamphlets dealing with this poet continue to pour from the press. Modern scholars and critics are constantly setting forth new ideas. Some are trying to prove that Wordsworth was a great philosopher; others are trying "to rescue him from the philosophers." "Wordsworth in a New Light" is a popular subject of the day. Pages omitted by Christopher Wordsworth in his Memoirs of William Wordsworth have been supplied by a noted critic in one of the most scholarly studies yet produced. But the attitude of early America toward the poet has remained carefully imprisoned in the yellow pages of old magazines and journals and in dusty volumes of essays and poems. One purpose of this study is to assemble and present the opinions from the sources mentioned that we may know definitely America's early attitude toward Wordsworth.

That Wordsworth's recognition in this country was slow has been generally conceded. The real causes of this belated appreciation, however, have not been given a careful and detailed analysis. Therefore, another purpose of this study is to make an examination of American culture during the first half of the nineteenth century and to show its bearing upon the early fortunes of Wordsworth in this country.

Inasmuch as 1824, the year of the second publica-

-vii-

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