preview

William Wordsworth

Satisfactory Essays
William Wordsworth William Wordsworth was born on April 7, 1770 in Cockermouth, Cumberland, the second of five children. His father, John, a lawyer, was very educated and liberal for the time, and encouraged all his children to be the same. Wordsworth was definitely the wild one of the family, and his sister Dorothy, a year younger than him, was usually his only ally in the family. The Wordsworth children had a pretty happy childhood, at least until their mother, Ann, died in 1778. Wordsworth was sent away, to a grammar school some distance away. Wordsworth was allowed to run wild, and became quite the young sportsman. When John Wordsworth died in 1783, the outlook for the children became really bleak. Though theoretically John's estate was worth $10,485, that amount included many debts which people owed him. The largest debt, that owed by John's employer, the Earl of Lowther, amounted to nearly $5,000 of that sum, and would not be paid to the Wordsworths for 19 years. The kids were turned over to their uncles who weren’t exactly overjoyed with the new addition to their household. They paid for William to go to Cambridge, where he did very well his first year, but soon realized Cambridge was not the place for him. He chose his own course of studies from then on, and graduated shortly thereafter. After graduation, Wordsworth wandered through France. In the city of Orleans, he met a young woman named Annette Vallon. They had an affair and Annette became pregnant. Before the child was born, however, Wordsworth had to go back to England to earn money somehow. He returned to London with every intention of marrying Annette once things had settled, politically and financially. He tried to raise money by publishing two poems he'd written; Descriptive Sketches, a very pro-revolutionary piece, and An Evening Walk. They weren't very good, and sold accordingly. However, an old school friend of Wordsworth saw potential in his work and arranged for a legacy of $900 so he could concentrate on his poetry. Wordsworth was very grateful, and between the income from that and some money he got from another friend in exchange for watching his young son, Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy were able to live together in a little cottage.
Get Access