23. W. Wordsorth

William Wordsworth (7 April 1770 – 23 April 1850) was a major English poet who helped to launch the Romantic age in English literature with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, in 1798, with the joint publication Lyrical ballads.

“The Prelude” is considered to be Wordsworth’s magnum opus. It is a semi autobiographical poem of his early years which he revised and expanded a number of times.

It was posthumously titled and published, prior to which it was generally known as the poem “To Coleridge”.

Wordsworth was Britain’s Poet Laurette from 1843 until his death in 1850.

The Poet Laurette and his other honors:

Wordsworth received from Durham University an honorary Doctor of Civil Law degree in 1838 and the same honor from Oxford University the next year.

In 1842 the government awarded him a civil list pension amounting to £300 a year. With the death in 1843 of Robert Southey, Wordsworth became the Poet Laureate.

He initially refused the honor, saying he was too old, but accepted when Prime Minister Robert Peel assured him “you shall have nothing required of you”

He became the only laureate to write no official poetry. When his daughter, Dora, died in 1847, his production of poetry came to a standstill.

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