The Prelude, Wordsworth's great autobiographical poem, is crucial to our understanding of his life and poetry. This epic work covers the experiences of Wordsworth's boyhood and his poetic development; his debt to literature; the awakening of his passionate interest in man; his hopes and despair for the French Revolution; his life in London and in the country, the highs and lows of his career; his relationship with his sister Dorothy and his friendship with Coleridge. Through The Prelude Wordsworth was at last free to devote his life to its true vocation and to record his gratitude for the gift which brought him that freedom.
Written between 1798 and 1805, it was first published posthumously in 1850 after intensive revision in Wordsworth's later years. This volume contains the original 1805 text edited from manuscripts with a comprehensive introduction and notes.
Readership: Anyone interested in the life and works of William Wordsworth; A-level students and undergraduates studying Wordsworth, the early Romantic poets, nineteenth-century English literature.