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Wordsworth, Creativity, and Cumbrian Communities

Fleming, Anna Mairead (2017) Wordsworth, Creativity, and Cumbrian Communities. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

This thesis examines how Wordsworth interacted with non-literary communities within Cumbria, his impact on these communities, and their impact on his work. Analysing texts from across Wordsworth’s lifetime, including published poetry and prose, manuscripts, and personal writing, my study charts how his engagement with Cumbrian communities changed and his portrayals of local life developed. It argues that there are three phases to his writing about local communities: ‘remembering’ (1790s), ‘experiencing’ (1800-8), and ‘determining’ (1808 onwards). In the first phase, his writing about communities is defined by a sense of nostalgia and detachment; in the second phase he is immersed in the locale, writing with a vivid sense of exploration and discovery; in the third phase he writes from a more authoritative position, seeking to prescribe the ideal model for Cumbrian communities. The study reveals that although he was drawn to an attractive ideal of community cohesion, he also responded to local tensions and divisions, and ambivalence can also be read within his portrayals of the locale. The unresolved disjunctions between ideal and reality, cohesion and division, provide a significant motivation for his creativity.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts (Leeds) > School of English (Leeds)
Depositing User: Dr Anna Fleming
Date Deposited: 18 Sep 2017 11:23
Last Modified: 18 Sep 2017 11:23
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/18149

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