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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.

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William Wordsworth

by Edward McInnes, published by Sir Francis Graham Moon, 1st Bt, after Margaret Gillies
mezzotint, published 6 August 1841
NPG D13986


William Wordsworth

by and published by Thomas Goff Lupton, after Benjamin Robert Haydon
mezzotint, published 1 November 1848 (1842)
NPG D19912


William Wordsworth

by Charles William Sherborn, after Margaret Gillies
etching, 1887
NPG D21204