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date: 29 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

William Wordsworth was a remarkable—even obsessive—traveller. The scope of Wordsworth’s lifelong travels exceeded even his poetic output; many of his travel experiences never see direct biographical expression in verse, although we can detect their influences. This chapter gives a chronological overview of Wordsworth’s major travels—most of them outside England—that significantly influenced his poetry, although it occasionally juxtaposes chronologically distant travel and poetry in order to note connections and contrasts between them. The chapter contends that we can divide Wordsworth’s itinerant existence into three concentric phases. The first phase represents Wordsworth as vagrant; the second ‘heroic’ phase represents Wordsworth as itinerant philosopher or chivalric hero; the final ‘public’ phase represents Wordsworth as tourist and travel writer, publishing sequences and whole volumes of itinerant verse including his continental tours.

Keywords: Wordsworth, travel, travel writing, vagrancy, itinerancy, public travel, tours, continental tour

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