Search the Collection

William Wordsworth (1770-1850), Poet Laureate

Sitter in 23 portraits
With Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Wordsworth published Lyrical Ballads (1798) which marked the development of a new type of poetry dealing with feeling and imagination. For most of his life he lived in the Lake District, and the main theme of his extensive poetry was man's relation to nature. His masterpiece is commonly considered to be The Prelude (1850), a long verse-autobiography that includes Wordsworth's journey through revolutionary France in 1791, 'Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, but to be young was very heaven!' He abandoned his early republicanism and was appointed Poet Laureate in 1843. Wordsworth experienced recurring episodes of the infectious disease trachoma from 1805 until his death.