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Lyrical Ballads: Wordsworth & Coleridge

S$67.00

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Lyrical Ballads: Wordsworth & Coleridge

S$67.00

Title: Lyrical Ballads: Wordsworth & Coleridge
Author: William Wordsworth & Samuel Taylor Coleridge
ISBN: –
Publisher: The Franklin Library, 1982. Reprint of the 1798 edition. A Limited Edition for subscribers, in the 100 Greatest Books of All Time series.
Condition: Hardcover, full dark green leather, with emboss on cover and gilt to boards, spine and edges. Like new except for some loss to gold on edges. Has previous owner’s bookplate attached, which can be pasted over on request.

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SKU: lyrical-ballads Categories: ,

This book features:

  • Full premium tooled green leather binding
  • Genuine 22k gold gilt to all edges, front design, spine, and back
  • Silk moire endsheets
  • Satin bookmark, sewn-in
  • Hubbed spine with 5 raised bands
  • Smyth-sewn binding for durability
  • Premium acid-neutral archival paper that will not yellow

About this edition (from wikipedia):

Lyrical Ballads, with a Few Other Poems is a collection of poems by William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, first published in 1798 (see 1798 in poetry) and generally considered to have marked the beginning of the English Romantic movement in literature. The immediate effect on critics was modest, but it became and remains a landmark, changing the course of English literature and poetry.

Most of the poems in the 1798 edition were written by Wordsworth, with Coleridge contributing only four poems to the collection, including one of his most famous works, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”.

A second edition was published in 1800, in which Wordsworth included additional poems and a preface detailing the pair’s avowed poetical principles.

Wordsworth and Coleridge set out to overturn what they considered the priggish, learned and highly sculpted forms of 18th century English poetry and bring poetry within the reach of the average person by writing the verses using normal, everyday language. They place an emphasis on the vitality of the living voice that the poor use to express their reality. Using this language also helps assert the universality of human emotions. Even the title of the collection recalls rustic forms of art – the word “lyrical” links the poems with the ancient rustic bards and lends an air of spontaneity, while “ballads” are an oral mode of storytelling used by the common people.

In the ‘Advertisement’ included in the 1798 edition, Wordsworth explained his poetical concept:

The majority of the following poems are to be considered as experiments. They were written chiefly with a view to ascertain how far the language of conversation in the middle and lower classes of society is adapted to the purpose of poetic pleasure.

If the experiment with vernacular language was not enough of a departure from the norm, the focus on simple, uneducated country people as the subject of poetry was a signal shift to modern literature. One of the main themes of “Lyrical Ballads” is the return to the original state of nature, in which people led a purer and more innocent existence. Wordsworth subscribed to Rousseau’s belief that humanity was essentially good but was corrupted by the influence of society. This may be linked with the sentiments spreading through Europe just prior to the French Revolution.

About Coleridge:

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (21 October 1772 – 25 July 1834) was an English poet, Romantic, literary critic and philosopher who, with his friend William Wordsworth, was a founder of the Romantic Movement in England and a member of the Lake Poets. He is probably best known for his poems The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla Khan, as well as for his major prose work Biographia Literaria. His critical work, especially on Shakespeare, was highly influential, and he helped introduce German idealist philosophy to English-speaking culture. He coined many familiar words and phrases, including the celebrated suspension of disbelief. He was a major influence, via Emerson, on American transcendentalism.

About Wordsworth:

William Wordsworth (7 April 1770 – 23 April 1850) was a major English Romantic poet who, with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, helped to launch the Romantic Age in English literature with the 1798 joint publication Lyrical Ballads.

Wordsworth’s magnum opus is generally considered to be The Prelude, a semiautobiographical poem of his early years which he revised and expanded a number of times. It was posthumously titled and published, prior to which it was generally known as the poem “to Coleridge”. Wordsworth was Britain’s Poet Laureate from 1843 until his death in 1850.