Wordsworth’s devotion to landscape improvement was undertaken then not, like that of many of his contemporaries, as assistance to human complacency and self-assertion, but rather as a work of rescue and consolation. Against the doctrine that life in the midst of nature must be pleasant (a doctrine of the sentimentalists which would later thrive on a misreading of his own work) he, like Shakespeare, knew that such a life in its purest form must be that of ‘unaccommodated man’, exposed to the alien and uncaring processes of the universe at large; no response to the landscape which failed to acknowledge the fact could be adequate.
KeywordsHuman Heart Animal Spirit Literal Content Poetic Epic Landscape Improvement
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 1.‘Salisbury Plain’, st. 44 (Cf Salisbury Plain Poems 34). See also Enid Welsford, Salisbury Plain, a Study in the Development of Wordsworth’s Mind and Art (Oxford, 1966), pp. 14–15.Google Scholar
- 2.Ibid., st. 47.Google Scholar
- 6.C. Salveson, The Landscape of Memory (1965).Google Scholar
- 10.W. Bartram, Travels through North and South Carolina (1792), p. 155.Google Scholar
- 11.J. L. Lowes, The Road to Xanadu (1927), pp. 364–5, quoting Gutch Notebook (=CN I 220).Google Scholar
- 16.D. Ferry, The Limits of Mortality (Middletown, Conn., 1959), pp. 12–15.Google Scholar
- 23.B. R. Haydon, Diary, ed. W. B. Pope (1960), II p. 470.Google Scholar
- 26.David Ferry, op. cit., pp. 23–4.Google Scholar
- 32.Samuel Daniel, Preface to ‘Musophilus’, ll.1–6. (Complete Works, ed. A. B. Grosart (1885), I 223).Google Scholar