Understanding 'The Prelude'

Author: Owen, W J B


ISBN 978-1-84760-001-1 350 pp; file size 1.6 mb Licence: printing allowed, copying disabled

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A compilation of a distinguished scholar's essays, written over a twenty-year period, on the meaning of The Prelude
In PDF only.


The essays in this book, first published in The Wordsworth Circle but never previously published in book form, meditate deeply (with the author's xharacteristic flashes of wry wit) on Wordsworth's own theory of literature, and probe into questions that few critics have bothered to ask, yet which, when asked, seem very central indeed.

1. Understanding The Prelude
2. The Sublime and the Beautiful
3. Literary Echoes in The Prelude
4. Wordsworth's Aesthetics of Landscape
5. “A Shock of Mild Surprise”
6. Two Wordsworthian Ambivalences
7. Wordsworth's Imaginations
8. “The Charm More Superficial”
9. The Object the Eye and the Imagination
10. “The Ascent of the Mind”
11. “The Poetry of Nature”
12. “The Most Despotic of our Senses”
13. “Such Structures as the Mind builds”
14. “˜The Perfect Image of a mighty Mind”
15. The descent from Snowdon
16. “A Sense of the Infinite”
17. “Prose”

About the author

W. J. B. Owen is best known for his Preface to the Lyrical Ballads (1957), his three volume edition of The Prose Works of William Wordsworth (with Jane Smyser, 1974), Wordsworth as Critic (1969), Wordsworth's Literary Criticism (1974) and his edition of The Fourteen-Book Prelude for the Cornell Wordsworth (1985)

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Understanding 'The Prelude'

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