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The Suffering Traveller and the Romantic Imagination$
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Carl Thompson

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199259984

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199259984.001.0001

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Romantic Travel I: Wordsworthian Scripts

Romantic Travel I: Wordsworthian Scripts

Chapter:
(p.186) 5 Romantic Travel I: Wordsworthian Scripts
Source:
The Suffering Traveller and the Romantic Imagination
Author(s):

Carl Thompson (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199259984.003.0006

This chapter explores Wordsworth's indebtedness both to the literature of shipwreck and maritime misadventure outlined in Chapters 2 and 3, and to the literature of exploration outlined in Chapter 5. From this material, and especially from the traditions of spiritual autobiography and Providentialism in this material, it is suggested that Wordsworth absorbed deeply a sense of travel as properly a form of quasi-religious pilgrimage, and of misadventure as a route to spiritual discovery and renovation. The first section of the chapter discusses Wordsworthian misadventure in relation to Wordsworth's spiritual and creative anxieties and aspirations; this section focuses chiefly on The Prelude. The second section explores the public dimension to Wordsworth's adoption of the misadventurer, focusing on the ways in which Wordsworth harnesses misadventure to a nationalist and imperialist ethos: The Excursion is the principal text discussed here.

Keywords:   travel, travel writing, poetry, Romantic, Romanticism, adventure, misadventure, Providentialism, shipwreck, spiritual autobiography

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