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Wordsworth and the Victorians$
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Stephen Gill

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198119654

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198119654.001.0001

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The Poetry of Humble Life

The Poetry of Humble Life

(p.114) 4 The Poetry of Humble Life
Wordsworth and the Victorians

Stephen Gill

Oxford University Press

This chapter deals with the general appreciation of William Wordsworth’s poetry and the threat of the Victorian novel to it. Many factors contributed to the ascendancy of the Victorian novel including the sensibility of evangelical Christianity, increased literacy, developments in the technology of printing and distribution, and the professionalization of the literary market-place. For the Victorian novelists, the literary past was a blessing rather than a burden, and Romanticism was the part of that past that perhaps affected the Victorians most strongly. Evidence of Wordsworth's contribution to this blessing is not difficult to find. Charles Dickens, for example, recognized in Wordsworth a fellow spirit on topics such of the factory system, the new poor law, and education.

Keywords:   William Wordsworth, Romanticism, Victorian novel, Charles Dickens, literary market-place

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