Wordsworth, Jonathan 1932-

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WORDSWORTH, Jonathan 1932-

PERSONAL: Born November 28, 1932, in London, England; son of Andrew and Helen (Fletcher) Wordsworth; married Ann Sherratt (a lecturer at St. Hugh's College, Oxford), June 26, 1958; married Lucy Newlyn (a lecturer at St. Edmund Hall, Oxford), December 15, 1984; children: (first marriage) Thomas, Charles, Henry, Samuel. Education: Brasenose College, Oxford, B.A. (first class honors), 1955. Politics: Labour Party. Religion: "Unbeliever." Hobbies and other interests: Collecting Wordsworth and contemporary books and manuscript materials, and late eighteenth-century watercolors.

ADDRESSES: Office—The Wordsworth Trust, Dove Cottage, Grasmere, Cumbria LA22 9SH, England. Agent—A. D. Peters, 10 Buckingham St., London WC2N 6BU, England. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Oxford University, Oxford, England, fellow and lecturer in English literature at Exeter College, 1957-80, fellow and university lecturer in romantic studies at St. Catherine's College, 1980—. Visiting assistant professor, Cornell University, 1966-67, 1970. Chairman of the Wordsworth Trust, Grasmere, England. Military service: "Brief and inglorious."

MEMBER: Modern Language Association of America.

WRITINGS:

The Music of Humanity: A Critical Study of Wordsworth's "Ruined Cottage," Incorporating Texts from a Manuscript of 1799-1800, Harper and Row (New York, NY), 1969.

(Editor, with Beth Darlington) Bicentenary Wordsworth Studies in Memory of John Alban Finch, Cornell University Press (Ithaca, NY), 1970.

(Editor) William Wordsworth, The Poems of William Wordsworth, Cambridge University Press, 1973.

(Editor, with M. H. Abrams and Stephen Gill) William Wordsworth, "The Prelude:" The Four Texts, 1799, 1805, 1850, W. W. Norton (New York, NY), 1979, Penguin Books (New York, NY), 1995.

William Wordsworth: The Borders of Vision, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1982.

(Editor and author of introduction and notes) William Wordsworth, "The Pedlar," "Tintern Abbey," "The Two-Part Prelude," Cambridge University Press, (Cambridge, England), 1985.

(Editor and author of introduction) William Wordsworth, William Wordsworth, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1985.

(Editor and author of introduction and notes) William Wordsworth, William Wordsworth: "The Ruined Cottage," "The Brothers Michael," Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1985.

(Editor, with John Kerrigan) Hugh Sykes Davies, Wordsworth and the Worth of Words, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1986.

(With others) William Wordsworth and the Age of English Romanticism, Rutgers University Press (New Brunswick, NJ), 1987.

(Editor and author of introduction) William Wordsworth, William Wordsworth: An Illustrated Selection, Wordsworth Trust (Grasmere, England), 1987.

The Light That Never Was: Studies in the Romantic Imagination, Cambridge University Press (New York, NY), 1988.

(Editor) Thomas Moore, The Poetical Works of the Late Thomas Little, Esq. ("Revolution and Romanticism, 1789-1834" series), Woodstock Books (New York, NY), 1990.

(Editor) Ancestral Voices: Fifty Books from the Romantic Period ("Revolution and Romanticism, 1789-1834" series), Woodstock (New York, NY), 1991.

(Editor) William Godwin, An Enquiry Concerning Political Justice ("Revolution and Romanticism, 1789-1834" series), Woodstock Books (New York, NY), 1992.

Visionary Gleam: Forty Books from the Romantic Period ("Revolution and Romanticism, 1789-1834" series), Woodstock Books (New York, NY), 1993.

(Editor) Walter Savage Landor, Gebir, 1798, Wood-stock Books (Poole, England), 1993.

(Editor) William Wordsworth, The Prelude: The Four Texts (1798, 1799, 1805, 1850) Penguin (New York, NY), 1995.

(Editor) Maria Edgeworth and Richard Lovell Edgeworth, Practical Education, 1801 (three volumes), Woodstock Books (Poole, England), 1996.

(Editor) Robert Southey, editor, The Annual Anthology 1799, 1800 ("Revolution and Romanticism, 1789-1834" series), Woodstock Books (Washington, DC), 1997.

(Editor) The Bright Work Grows: Women Writers of the Romantic Age ("Revolution and Romanticism, 1789-1834" series), Woodstock Books (Washington, DC), 1997.

(Editor) Edward John Trelawny, Recollections of the Last Days of Shelley and Byron, 1858 ("Revolution and Romanticism, 1789-1834" series), Woodstock Books (Otley, England), 2001.

(Editor) William Blake, A Descriptive Catalogue, Woodstock Books (Poole, England), 2001.

(Editor, with Jessica Wordsworth) The New Penguin Book of Romantic Poetry, Penguin (London, England), 2002.

Editor of additional volumes in the "Revolution and Romanticism, 1789-1834" series; author of new introductions, The Poetical Works of the Late Thomas Little, Esq., Woodstock Books (New York, NY), 1990, and An Enquiry Concerning Political Justice, by William Godwin, Woodstock Books (New York, NY), 1992; contributor to periodicals, including the Times Literary Supplement.

SIDELIGHTS: Jonathan Wordsworth is descended from Christopher Wordsworth, the younger brother of William, and the majority, but not all, of the books he has written or edited are concerned with that ancestor. Wordsworth is also the chairman of the Wordsworth Trust and a professor emeritus at Oxford.

A significant Wordsworth project has been his facsimile reprint series, "Revolution and Romanticism, 1789-1834." His first guide to the series, Ancestral Voices: Fifty Books from the Romantic Period, consists of fifty chronologically ordered short essays, each an expanded version of an introduction to a single book. Wordsworth cites similarities in ways of thinking among the writings of his subjects, including the dominance of genres, e.g. vampire fiction, during certain periods. Roslyn Jolly wrote in Notes and Queries that "even more interesting, to my mind … are the many direct borrowings and influences linking Romantic writers; Ancestral Voices is particularly strong in revealing who was reading whom in the Romantic period, and to what end. Wordsworth's bibliographical approach to literary history centralizes the role of reading in bringing about cultural shifts and formations, a role made explicit in the literature itself through intertextuality."

Christopher Salvesen wrote in the Review of English Studies that "by concentrating on individual books, Jonathan Wordsworth hopes to give a more authentic picture than usual of the period beginning just before 1789 and ending just after 1832. As he puts it in his introduction: 'To understand what the age was really like, we have to ask not only what the Romantics do and do not have in common, but what is their relation to contemporaries who were often more successful (had more readers), and who must therefore in a sense be more representative.'" Wordsworth wrote another, similar volume titled Visionary Gleam: Forty Books from the Romantic Period.

The New Penguin Book of Romantic Poetry, large at more than a thousand pages, includes the work of poets of that period, including Wordsworth, Mary Robinson, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, John Keats, Walter Scott, Felicia Hemans, Letitia Landon, John Clare, and others. The poems odes, lyrics, songs, and sonnets, fall within such categories as "Protest and Politics," "Narratives of Love," and "Ennobling Exchange: Man and Nature." Times Literary Supplement reviewer David Bromwich wrote that the volume "is full of good things."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

periodicals

Notes and Queries, June, 1993, Roslyn Jolly, review of Ancestral Voices: Fifty Books from the Romantic Period, p. 259.

Review of English Studies, August, 1993, Christopher Salvesen, review of Ancestral Voices, p. 429.

Times Literary Supplement, September 9, 1983; September 20, 2002, David Bromwich, review of The New Penguin book of Romantic Poetry, pp. 4-5.*