Explore the great poetry of William Wordsworth and his writing process
This free online course will explore the great poetry of William Wordsworth, with an emphasis on his writing process and the inspirational landscape of the Lake District. This course is presented in association with the Wordsworth Trust, Grasmere.
You will study how Wordsworth created and revised some of his greatest works including “I wandered lonely as a Cloud” (perhaps better known as “Daffodils”) and The Prelude (his autobiographical masterpiece). We will draw on the magnificent collection of manuscripts held by the Wordsworth Trust in the museum next to his home.
Through readings and discussions focusing on Grasmere and the landscape of the Lake District, the course will explore why this location was so important for Wordsworth.
What topics will you cover?
- William Wordsworth’s life and work and the archive of his manuscripts at the Jerwood Centre, Grasmere
- Manuscript materials as evidence of how Wordsworth created his poetry
- The importance of a sense of place in Wordsworth’s writing
- Wordsworth’s conception of the role of ‘Nature’, especially as expressed in ‘The Tables Turned’, The Prelude, ‘Michael’ and ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud’
- The significance of Lyrical Ballads and the volume’s key principles
- Wordsworth’s ideas about education and his concept of ‘spots of time’
- Ideas of home and community and their relationship to creativity
- The relationship between different forms of writing, especially letters, journals and poetry
- Dorothy Wordsworth’s journals and their relationship to her brother’s poetry
When would you like to start?
Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.
Who is the course for?
This course is open to anyone with an interest in poetry, place and the process of writing.
If you haven’t read Wordsworth before, the course will give you an enjoyable introduction to one of the best-loved poets in English literature.
If you’re already familiar with his poetry, your understanding will be enhanced through this unique opportunity to study it where it was written.
Who developed the course?
Lancaster University is a collegiate university, with a global reputation as a centre for research, scholarship and teaching with an emphasis on employability.