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Wordsworth's 'Thanksgiving Ode' in Context By Richard Gravil
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Wordsworth’s ‘Thanksgiving Ode’ expresses the poet’s sentiments on the final outcome of the Napoleonic Wars. It is possibly Wordsworth’s most notorious poem, widely... More > criticized for its alleged bellicosity and for one line in particular, addressed to God: ‘Yea, Carnage is thy Daughter’. Richard Gravil argues that the poem is a strenuous exercise in Christian Thanksgiving, appropriate to the close of two decades of global war. Its tone is reflective and self-searching, not bellicose, as befits a poet who called the Battle of Waterloo ‘a hideous rout’. Its thought is grounded in the Old Testament, as were the numerous sermons preached on the morning of 18 January 1816, a ‘Day Appointed for a General Thanksgiving’. The booklet explicates the poem’s demanding argument, and places it alongside a range of sermons offered by the Bishop of London, Anglican vicars, a Canadian rector, a Vicar Apostolic and a Unitarian Minister, united in thanksgiving at the close of what was, in reality, the first World War.< Less
Wordsworth's Bardic Vocation, 1787-1842 By Richard Gravil
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Wordsworth’s Bardic Vocation, the most comprehensive critical study of the poet since the 1960s, presents the poet as balladist, sonneteer, minstrel, elegist, prophet of nature, and national... More > bard. The book argues that Wordsworth’s uniquely various oeuvre is unified by his sense of bardic vocation. Like Walt Whitman or the bards of Cumbria, Wordsworth sees himself as 'the people’s remembrancer'. Like them, he sings of nature and endurance, laments the fallen, fosters national independence and liberty. His task is to reconcile in one society 'the living and the dead' and to nurture both 'the people' and 'the kind'. Review Comment: 'This erudite exposition, profligate with its ideas ... succeeds as few others have done in apprehending Wordsworth’s career holistically, incorporating all its diversities and apparent inconsistencies into a unified vision. It justifies fully the notion proposed by Hughes and Heaney that he was England’s last national poet.' — Duncan Wu, Review of English Studies< Less
William Wordsworth: Lyrical Ballads (1798) By Richard Gravil
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This book places Wordsworth's revolutionary poetic practice, in Lyrical Ballads, in the context of a revolutionary age. It considers Wordsworth's provocative theories of how poetry should work, and... More > includes a treatment of the famous 'Preface' to Lyrical Ballads, one of the great poetic manifestos. The main part of the book offers illuminating commentary and questions on the poems, designed to encourage readers to accept Wordsworth's invitation to 'wrestle' with the author. A final section discusses contemporary, Victorian and recent critical approaches to Wordsworth and includes an annotated guide to further reading. Richard Gravil's books include Romantic Dialogues: Anglo-American Continuities, 1776-1862 (Palgrave 2000), Wordsworth’s Bardic Vocation, 1787-1842 (Palgrave 2003) And Wordsworth and Helen Maria Williams; or, the Perils of Sensibility (2010), all now available from Lulu. He is also co-editor of the monumental Oxford Handbook of William Wordsworth (2015).< Less
Grasmere 2009 By Richard Gravil
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A selection of keynote lectures and conference papers from the 2009 Wordsworth Summer Conference, including Gillian Beer's remarkable address on Darwin and Romanticism, Richard Cronin on Wordsworth... More > and the Press, Paul H Fry on Wordsworth and Coleridge, Claire Lamont on the Romantic Cottage, and Nicholas Roe's illustrated talk on Keats and the Elgin marbles. Other essays address 'Tintern Abbey', the 'Intimations Ode', 'Peter Bell', Wordsworth on human suffering, matters of patronage, the editing of her father's 'Biographia' by Sara Coleridge and an 1850 journal by Wordsworth's niece, Sarah Hutchinson the younger.< Less
Wordsworth and Helen Maria Williams; or, the Perils of Sensibility By Richard Gravil
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This book examines the connection between William Wordsworth and the work of Helen Maria Williams and the effect this connection may have had on his reception by such hostile critics as Francis... More > Jeffrey. Why did Wordsworth write his first published poem to Helen Maria Williams? What role did she play in forming his views of poetry, and of the French Revolution? Why was Wordsworth able to recite in 1820 a poem by Miss Williams that he first read in 1790? Was his own poetical sensibility comparable with that of the older woman? Did the reception of Wordsworth’s Poems, in Two Volumes by Francis Jeffrey and others —as ‘puerile’, ‘namby-pamby’, ‘lisping’ and ‘affected’ — reflect a belief that manly sense and feminine sensibility, are not compatible? If so, why did Wordsworth run that risk? This little book attempts to suggest answers to some of those questions, and to provoke more systematic considerations of them all, and of Wordsworth's daring reconfiguration of 'manliness'.< Less
Grasmere 2012: Selected Papers from the Wordsworth Summer Conference By Richard Gravil
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In this selection of twelve specially chosen Lectures and Papers from the 41st Wordsworth Summer Conference, Heather Glen writes on 'We are Seven' in the context of population studies in the 1790s,... More > Judith W. Page on Beatrix Potter and William Wordsworth, Anthony Harding on the Reading Public, Pamela Woof and Suzanne Stewart on Dorothy Wordsworth's writing, Peter Swaab on Sara Coleridge's criticism of Wordsworth, Heidi Thomson on Wordworth and Auden, Judyta Frodyma on Bishop Lowth and 'Home at Grasmere', Stacey McDowell on Keats and Indolence, Catherine Redford on 'The Last Man' and Romantic Archaeology, Paul Whickman on Shelley's revisions, and Jason Goldsmith on 'picturesque travel, or viewing landscape by painting it. There are 13 monochrome illustrations (full colour in the PDF version from Humanities-Ebooks).< Less
Grasmere 2013 By Richard Gravil
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This selection of three lectures and eight papers from the 42nd Wordsworth Summer Conference, opens with Heidi Thomson's fresh approach to Wordsworth's Salisbury Plain narrative, and closes with... More > Deirdre Coleman's exploration of the Keats Circle's interest in Indian culture. Christopher Simons contributes a rare full-length treatment of Ecclesiastical Sketches vis-a-vis Wordsworth's oeuvre. The book also includes papers on Wordsworth by Peter Larkin, Tom Clucas, Simon Swift, Daniel Robinson, Rowan Boyson and Richard Gravil, and by Kimiyo Ogawa on Godwin and Hazlitt, Alexandra Paterson on Shelley, and by Richard Lansdown on 'Coralline history' in James Montgomery's remarkable 'Pelican Island'.< Less
Grasmere, 2011 By Richard Gravil
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This Selection from the 40th Wordsworth Summer Conference includes Stephen Gill on Wordsworth's 'revisitings' of his poems, Ann Wroe on the bicentenary of Shelley's 'Necessity of Atheism', Mark J... More > Bruhn on Wordsworth's Dualism and Jacob Risinger on his Stoicism, Jessica Fay on Wordsworth's hermits and Matthew Rowney on his peripatetics, Daniel Robinson on Wordsworth's sonnets and newspaper verse, Gregory Leadbetter on the 'Lucy Poems', Madeleine Callaghan on Shelley's Idealism, Monika Class on Coleridge and Phrenology, Mary Favret on the cultural practice of 'The General Fast and Humiliation', Stacey McDowell on Keats's 'Otho the Great', Felicity James on Mary Hays and the life-writing of religious Dissent, Richard Gravil on John Thelwall's hitherto unknown analysis of the prosody of Wordsworth's Excursion. This is the fourth paperback collection from this prestigious ten-day conference, created by Richard Wordsworth in 1970, and now run by an educational charity, the Wordsworth Conference Foundation.< Less
Grasmere 2008 By Richard Gravil
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A selection of thirteen lectures and papers from the 2008 Wordsworth Summer Conference. Contents include four keynote lectures - on Wordsworth and Coleridge by John Beer, on Byron by Angela... More > Esterhammer and Kasahara Yorimichi, and on Harriet Martineau by Anthony John Harding - together with Judith Thompson's 'Bindman Lecture' on John Thelwall. In shorter papers, Monika Class writes on Coleridge and Kant; Laurent Folliot, Mandy Swann, Timothy Michael, Martina Domines Veliki, Patrick Vincent and Yu Xiao on Wordsworth; and Madeleine Callaghan on Shelley. A Feature of the book is five 'new' poems by the famous agitator John Thelwall, transcribed from the recently discovered Derby MS.< Less
Grasmere 2010 By Richard Gravil
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A Selection of lectures and papers from the 40th Anniversary Wordsworth Summer Conference including keynote lectures by Simon Bainbridge, Gary Harrison, Kenneth Johnston, Anthony Harding, Nahoko... More > Miyamoto Alvey and Seamus Perry, and papers by Peter Spratley, James Castell, Saeko Yoshikawa, Daniel Robinson, Erica McAlpine and Fay Yao.< Less