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In this lively and stimulating study, detailed analysis of the poems is closely grounded in the literary and historical contexts in which Lyrical Ballads was first conceived, realized and subsequently expanded into two volumes. Documenting the revisions of the early edition, John Blades carefully reassesses the poems in the light of Wordsworth's and Coleridge's literary theories, and then broadens the discussion by tracing the critical history of Lyrical Ballads over the two centuries since its first publication.
General Editor's Preface
• Some Important Events During the Lives of Wordsworth and Coleridge
• PART I: ANALYSING LYRICAL BALLADS
• Childhood and Growth of the Mind
• Old Age: A 'vital anxiousness'
• Society Issues: 'the mean and vulgar works of man'
• Nature and the Supernatural: 'the strangeness of it'
• PART II: THE CONTEXT AND THE CRITICS
• The Politics of Wordsworth and Coleridge
• Reading and Writing in Late Eighteenth-Century England
• The Poet as Critic and Theorist
• Dorothy Wordsworth and the Lake Poets
• Critical Responses to Lyrical Ballads
• Further Reading