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Miss Simpson stayed to tea

Philippa Tristram, 20 April 1989

William Wordsworth: A Life 
by Stephen Gill.
Oxford, 525 pp., £17.50, March 1989, 0 19 812828 2
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... to assume the guise of Wilson’s victim rather than his subject. The opposite course, adopted by Mary Moorman in her now superseded biography of Wordsworth, has an oddly similar effect upon his writing, for in being made a quarry for the ‘facts’, it is obscured by Wordsworth’s figure as her hero. Stephen Gill’s admirable biography takes neither ...

Short Cuts

Christian Lorentzen: ‘Head Shot’, 24 May 2012

... some of them quite gruesome. My favourite is a blow-up of the Polaroid that a bystander called Mary Moorman took of Kennedy’s limo and the grassy knoll right at the moment of the murder. Behind the picket fence on the knoll, there’s a tiny blob and on it four tinier spots that look like a pair of squinty eyes, a nose and a mouth. ‘Some claim ...
George Macaulay Trevelyan: A Memoir 
by Mary Moorman.
Hamish Hamilton, 253 pp., £9.95, April 1980, 0 241 10358 4
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Public and Private 
by Humphrey Trevelyan.
Hamish Hamilton, 208 pp., £8.95, February 1980, 0 241 10357 6
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... by a pupil, J.H. Plumb, published in 1951, is a survey of the books rather than the man. Mrs Moorman, herself the biographer of Wordsworth as well as a loyal daughter, rightly considers this is not enough, and has retrieved letters, chiefly early and chiefly to his brother, the Labour Minister, Sir Charles Trevelyan, which show the forces that inspired ...

Three feet on the ground

Marilyn Butler, 7 July 1983

William Wordsworth: The Borders of Vision 
by Jonathan Wordsworth.
Oxford, 496 pp., £25, February 1983, 0 19 812097 4
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William Wordsworth: The Poetry of Grandeur and of Tenderness 
by David Pirie.
Methuen, 301 pp., £14.95, March 1982, 0 416 31300 0
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Benjamin the Waggoner 
by William Wordsworth, edited by Paul Betz.
Cornell/Harvester, 356 pp., £40, September 1981, 0 85527 513 8
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... selection of the poet’s oeuvre. Formally, Wordsworth’s life has been written for our time by Mary Moorman, in her detailed two-volume biography (1957 and 1967). But her effort has over the last twenty years been paralleled and supplemented by Jonathan Wordsworth, who operates in an area between textual scholarship and literary biography, using the ...

Wordsworth’s Crisis

E.P. Thompson, 8 December 1988

Wordsworth and Coleridge: The Radical Years 
by Nicholas Roe.
Oxford, 306 pp., £27.50, March 1988, 0 19 812868 1
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... Cambridge element among the leadership of the Corresponding Society.’ As attention to Mary Thale’s comprehensive and scrupulously-edited Selections from the Papers of the LCS makes clear, none of the supposed Cambridge element served on the Society’s executive or general committees, and it is doubtful whether any were ever members. It is a ...

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