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Lyric Impressions

William Wordsworth in the Long Nineteenth Century

A Celebration of the William Wordsworth Collection

Lyric Impressions

96 pp., 8.5 x 11, 45 color images, bibl

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-2907-0
    Published: February 2016

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Distributed for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library

The period known as the long nineteenth century, stretching between the cataclysmic events of the French Revolution and World War I, was one of radical transformations in technology, education, and global politics for England. William Wordsworth, as one of the defining voices of the Romantic era, wrestled with issues of modernity emerging from a culture hopeful for progress yet anxious about the legacy of the past. For readers who saw their world in constant flux, Wordsworth offered the poetic consolation that the material and natural worlds could be understood through contemplation.

This catalog documents the exhibition Lyric Impressions: Wordsworth in the Long Nineteenth Century, inspired by the William Wordsworth Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Rare Book Collection in Wilson Library. The Wordsworth Collection comprises nearly comprehensive lifetime editions of the poet’s writings and numerous and varied print editions of his work into the twentieth century. Its core is the 1,700 volumes assembled by Wordsworth scholar and UNC Professor Emeritus, Mark L. Reed, III in the course of compiling A Bibliography of William Wordsworth, 1787–1930 (Cambridge, 2013). Arranged alongside related materials drawn from across the Rare Book Collection, these diverse Wordsworth volumes illuminate the physical and cultural landscape of England in the nineteenth century, highlighting the conditions that precipitated Romantic literature and have ensured its enduring popularity.