William Wordsworth


1770

7 April: Born to John and Anne (Cookson) Wordsworth, second of five.

1778

Mother dies; William goes to Hawkshead Grammar School.

1783

Father dies.

1787

Goes up to St. John's College, Cambridge.

1789

An Evening Walk, his first long poem.

1790

Walking tour of France, Switzerland, and Germany.

1791

Graduates; goes to France. Becomes enamored with the French Republican Movement. Meets and has an affair with Annette Vallon.

1792

Daughter Caroline born.

1793

Returns to England to earn money; Anglo-French War prevents his return to France until 1802. Descriptive Sketches. Supports Caroline and Annette as best he can throughout his life.

1794

Reunited with his sister, Dorothy.

1795

Inherits legacy of £900. Meets Coleridge.

1797

William and his Dorothy move to Alfoxden to be near Coleridge.

1798

Lyrical Ballads published.

1798-99

The Wordsworths travel to Germany with Coleridge.

1799

William and Dorothy settle in the Lake district, at Dove Cottage, Grasmere.

1800

Lyrical Ballads revised, and a preface is added. As an independent document, the preface is the touchstone for Romanticism in English literature.

1802

Visits the Vallons at Calais. After receiving a much-delayed inheritance, marries Mary Hutchinson. Sonnets Dedicated to National Independence and Liberty.

1803

Son John born. (Four more children by 1810.)

1805

The Prelude finished. Brother John lost at sea.

1807

Poems in Two Volumes.

1809

The Convention of Cintra.

1810

Quarrel with Coleridge over C's opium addiction.

1812

Children Thomas and Caroline die.

1813

Moves to Rydal Mount, between Grasmere and Rydal Water; appointed Distributor of Stamps for Westmorland (£400/year).

1814

The Excursion.

1815

The White Doe of Rylstone; Preface to Lyrical Ballads revised.

1819

Peter Bell and The Waggoner.

1820

We Are Seven and The River Duddon (sonnets).

1822

Ecclesiastical Sketches.

1825

Yarrow Revisited, and Other Poems.

1828

Tours the Rhineland with Coleridge.

1839

Oxford confers honorary Doctor of Civil Law degree.

1842

Poems, Chiefly of Early and Late Years.

1843

Named Poet Laureate.

1847

Daughter Dora dies.

1850

23 April: dies. The Prelude.



What though the radiance
which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass,
of glory in the flower,
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind.


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