The Excursion (1814)
Woodstock Books, 1991 - 447 sidor
Though displaced in the eyes of twentieth-century readers by the Prelude (written 1798-1805, but unknown to the poet's contemporaries), the Excursion was for three generations Wordsworth's major work. It had bulk, gravitas, sonorous (sometimes beautiful) blank verse, epic pretensions. Published in 1814, it debated in the persons of the Wanderer, Pastor and Solitary the big questions of the day: the effects of the French and industrial revolutions, education, man in his relation to nature, society, God. As Wordsworth's reputation grew in the 1820s and '30s, the Excursion came, almost ex officio, to seem the grandest poem since Paradise lost. The text of 1814, like the Prelude text of 1805, was later weakened by revision. Reprinted here for the first time, it should go far to explain why Keats numbered the Excursion among the 'three things to rejoice at in [his] Age.'
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