Wordsworth's Monastic Inheritance: Poetry, Place, and the Sense of Community

ISBN : 9780198816201

Jessica Fay
256 Pages
138 x 216 mm
Pub date
May 2018
Oxford English Monographs
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This book offers the first extended examination of the influence of monasticism on Wordsworth's writing. Covering the poet's development between 1806 and 1822, it considers how a series of sources describing medieval monastic life in the north of England influenced Wordsworth's thinking about regional attachment, trans-historical community, and national cohesion. It also seeks to explain the stylistic shifts that occurred in his poetry during this period: Wordsworth's interest in monasticism inflected his attempt to create difficult, austere poetry that overturned the expectations of a general reading public that had an appetite for exciting narrative action. An appreciation of Wordsworth's engagement with the monastic history of his local region helps us to make sense of the radical poetic strategies he adopted in order to subdue and refine readers' taste.


1 Wordsworth's Creation of Taste
2 Quakerism, Cultivation, and the Coleorton Period
3 'My second Self when I am gone': Legacy, Memorialization, and Incarnation
4 Pastoral Reclusion and The Excursion
5 Wordsworth's Ecclesiastical Heritage
Epilogue: The Medieval Revival
Appendix I: Table of the Monastic Sites Visited and/or Studied by Wordsworth
Appendix II: Map of Monastic Sites Visited and/or Studied by Wordsworth

About the author: 

Jessica Fay is a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Research Fellow at the University of Bristol. She holds a doctorate from the University of Oxford and has published articles in Romanticism, European Romantic Review, and the Modern Language Review. Her research is focused on the poetry and prose of William Wordsworth; she has a special interest in Wordsworth's relationship with his patron and friend, Sir George Beaumont.

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