Wordsworth, the Lyrical Ballads, and Literary and Social Reform in Nineteenth Century America

The "Honourable Characteristic of Poetry": Two Hundred Years of Lyrical Ballads

Wordsworth, the Lyrical Ballads, and Literary and Social Reform in Nineteenth Century America

Joel Pace, University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire


1 On the relationship between British emigration and American literature, see Stephen Fender's Sea Changes (1992).

2 All references to Poe's writings are taken from the Davidson edition, and those from the Lyrical Ballads are from the Brett and Jones edition.

3 Quotations from Twice-Told Tales are taken from the second edition (1842).

4 I would to thank Jeff Cowton and Robert Woof of the Wordsworth Library, Grasmere for allowing me to consult the Peabody letters in MS form. I am indebted to Deanna Turner for her excellent analysis of Hawthorne.

5 This article originally appeared in The Boston Quarterly Review II (April 1839), 137-68.

6 See The American First Class Book; or, Exercises in Reading and Recitation: Selected Principally from Modern Authors of Great Britain and America; and Designed for the Use of the Highest Class in Publick and Private Schools, edited by John Pierpont (1823), 317.

This book sold 6,000 copies by 1826 and was still being printed in 1855. G. S. Hillard, the Unitarian visitor to Rydal Mount, published Wordsworth alongside Hawthorne and others in A First Class Reader (1856). Wordsworth was also anthologized with several Harvard Unitarians in Class Book of Prose and Poetry (1859).

7 See John Beer's full treatment of Channing's visit to English literary figures. Alan G. Hill's "Wordsworth and His American Friends" is the best source of information on Wordsworth's American visitors.

8 See Norton's The Offering for 1829.








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