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William Wordsworth collection

Call Number: MS P355


This collection consists of two letters written by English Romantic poet William Wordsworth (1770-1850).


  • 1830s; undated


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of William Wordsworth (1770-1850)

William Wordsworth was the son of John and Ann (Cookson) Wordsworth, born in Cockermouth, Cumberland, a part of the Lake District in England. He began writing poetry as a youth and went on a walking tour of Europe, including in Revolutionary France, before completing college, which solidified two common themes in his poetry: nature and a sympathy for the common individual.

After completing his undergraduate degree at St. John's College, Cambridge University in 1791, Wordworth returned to France, spending over a year there. Returning to England in 1793, he met Samuel Taylor Coleridge, with whom he would write Lyrical Ballads (1798).

Wordsworth's strongest poetry was written during the last decade of the 18th and first decade of the 19th centuries. In 1822 he expanded what had been an introduction to a selection of paintings by artist Joseph Wilkinson to become the book A Guide through the District of the Lakes. In 1843 he was named poet laureate of England.

William Wordsworth married Mary Hutchinson in 1802. They had 5 children, two of whom died in childhood.

[Information for this note retrieved from the Poetry Foundation website,]


2 folders

Physical Location

MS P355

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Item 1: Rota 104:46 [note pencil marks above salutation: "R951 30 ward/49"]. Item 2: gift, William P. Albrecht, 1971.

Related Materials

Other materials to, from, and/or related to William Wordsworth located at Kenneth Spencer Research Library include

Haydon family clipping book, MS 305 folder 4
To: "My dear Sir" [Benjamin Robert Haydon, 1786-1846.], September 2, 1818. 2 pages (1 piece)(bound in). Place: Rydal Mount, Keswick. Begins: "Having had an opportunity of procuring a Frank..." Signed: W. Wordsworth. Precis: Please send the drawing of my head which you presented to Mrs Wordsworth. Thanks for the pamphlet on the new churches. At Keswick [?]: Sir George & Lady Beaumont, and Collins. Recipient: probably Haydon, because the letter is bound in the Haydon family book and is to an artist.
MS P165A:1
To: Caroline Bowles [later Southey], August 22, 1829. 4p & add (1 piece) From: Jewsbury, Maria Jane, Manchester. Subject: ... [various; includes] Sara Coleridge visited us at Rydal Mount. Mr Wordsworth is kind, and his daughter one of my chosen friends [quotes 5 lines beginning "sportive as the fawn"]. I never found anyone "such a spell to the understanding as Mr Wordsworth." He spoke of you with the highest respect, but he refuses to believe in the doctrine of broken hearts.
Samuel Rogers collection, MS P273:2
To: William Wordsworth. 1 piece. Note. From: Rogers, Samuel, 1763-1855. Begins: "If you and the Ladies have nothing else..." Subject: Inviting you and the Ladies to dinner to meet my Sister.
Wilkie Collins collection, MS P557:A1
To: R.H. Dana, June 17, 1850. 3p and address (2 Photostats)From: Collins, Wilkie, 1824-1889. Subject: ... [various; includes] the character of Wordsworth when Collins met him in Italy in 1837.
Townshend collection, MS 41:XXIX.7
To: Samuel Simpson, Lancaster, July 16, [1830]. 4p (1 piece) From: Stutney, Sara, Ridgmont. Subject: ... [various; includes] criticism of your poems: you fill the holes with meaningless phrases which give a laborious effect. This is not done by any good poets but Wordsworth, but it is presently in fashion, probably because of Wordsworth's popularity.
Robert B. Riss collection, MS 331
Box 1, folders 74 and 75: two letters signed by Wordsworth
Guide to the William Wordsworth Collection
William Wordsworth collection
Finding aid prepared by alh, 1971, 1972. Finding aid encoded by mwh, 2020.
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
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Preferred citation
William Wordsworth collection, MS P355, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States