William Wordsworth Fact Sheet: Who was William Wordsworth? The following short biography and fact sheet provides interesting facts about the life, times and history of William Wordsworth.
William Wordsworth Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1770 – 1850 *** Full Name: William Wordsworth *** Occupation: English Romantic Poet *** Date of Birth: William Wordsworth was born on April 7th 1770 *** Place of Birth: William Wordsworth was born in Wordsworth House, Cockermouth, Cumberland, England *** Family background: His father was John Wordsworth and his mother was Ann Cookson *** Early life and childhood: He grew up with his four siblings, his older brother Richard, his younger sister Dorothy, and two younger brothers, John and Christopher. He was extremely close to his sister Dorothy all through their lives but not so close to his father, largely due to his absences from the family for work reasons but it was his father who encouraged him to read and to make use of his library *** Education: William Wordsworth began his education with his mother, later he attended the local school in Cockermouth. From there he attended school I Penrith after which he was sent to Hawkshead Grammar School in Lancashire ***
William Wordsworth Fact 1: William Wordsworth was born on April 7th 1770 and during the 18th century period in history when many innovations were being made in science, medicine, technology and industry. France was in the midst of a terrible and bloody Revolution under the Reign of Terror of Maximilien Robespierre.
William Wordsworth Fact 2: His mother died when he was just eight years old, he was then sent off to grammar school and his sister, his best friend, was sent to live with relatives, they would not see each other for nine years.
William Wordsworth Fact 3: In 1787 he would make his debut as a published writer with his sonnet in The European Magazine.
William Wordsworth Fact 4: He went on to attend St John’s College in Cambridge where he graduated with a BA degree.
William Wordsworth Fact 5: In 1791 during the French revolution he went to France where he met Annette Vallon, a French woman with whom he fell in love and together they had a daughter, Caroline. Because of the troubles in France he returned to England alone but would continue to support Annette and their daughter.
William Wordsworth Fact 6: He finally managed a return trip to France and was accompanied by his sister in 1802. The visit was largely to tell Annette that he was about to be married. Mary Hutchingson, as his wife was anxious that he support Caroline further and so when Caroline married in 1816 he arranged an annual income for her.
William Wordsworth Fact 7: In 1793 he published his first collection of poems, An Evening Walk and Descriptive Sketches.
William Wordsworth Fact 8: In 1795 he met and become strong friends with Samuel Taylor Coleridge and within a couple of years William together with his sister moved to within a few miles of where Coleridge himself lived in Somerset.
William Wordsworth Fact 9: Between the two men, and input from Dorothy, they created Lyrical Ballads a title of work that would become important in the English Romantic movement.
William Wordsworth Fact 10: The Borderers, his only play, was written between 1795 and 1797.
William Wordsworth Fact 11: By the fall of 1798 together with his sister and Coleridge the three traveled to Germany but for Wordsworth the trip just made him feel homesick. Dorothy and William lived in Goslar where he produced several pieces of work including The Prelude and The Lucy Poems.
William Wordsworth Fact 12: The following winter they returned to England and immediate went to visit the Hutchinson's in Sockburn. Upon Coleridge’s return to England he took his publisher, Joseph Cottle, to the Lake District where he was introduced to Wordsworth.
William Wordsworth Fact 13: As a direct result of this visit Dorothy and William settled on living in Grasmere at Dove Cottage with another poet they had befriended, Robert Southey. Between the three men, Wordsworth, Coleridge and Southey, they became known as the Lake Poets.
William Wordsworth Fact 14: As a result of money owed to William’s father, William became the recipient of the paid debt and was then in a position to marry Mary and Dorothy lived with them. Their first child was born in 1803 and together they had five children altogether, John, Dora, Thomas, Catherine and William.
William Wordsworth Fact 15: In 1805 he published his work titled The Prelude at the same he lost his brother John at sea.
William Wordsworth Fact 16: Two years later Poems in Two Volumes which included “Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood”.
William Wordsworth Fact 17: 1810 would prove to be a very difficult year for the Wordsworth family as Thomas aged four years and Catherine aged two years, two of William and Mary’s children died and the remaining family moved to Rydal Mount in Ambleside where William would spend the rest of his life.
William Wordsworth Fact 18: It is commonly felt his work began to wane after 1810 which could be because of resolving certain emotional issues from earlier on, including the deaths of his children on top of the death of his brother all of which emotionally would have reflected in his writing.
William Wordsworth Fact 19: After the death of his friend William Green in 1823, Wordsworth, who had distanced himself from Coleridge due to his drug abuse began to mend their relationship.
William Wordsworth Fact 20: In 1843 he became Poet Laureate after the demise of Robert Southey although he felt he was too old, he would become the only laureate who wrote no official verses.
William Wordsworth Fact 21: All of his writing came to a complete stop in 1847 after the death of his daughter Dora.
William Wordsworth Fact 22: William Wordsworth died on April 23rd 1850 aged eighty years, of pleurisy. His body laid to rest at St Oswald’s Church in Grasmere.
Influence and Legacy: Although his works success rose and fell, he was responsible for introducing natures vision into his work and a new view of the relationship between nature and man. After his death, his widow Mary, arranged for the publication of “poem to Coleridge” as The Prelude”.