Poet William Wordsworth was born on April 7, 1770, in Cockermouth, Cumberland, England. In 1795, Wordsworth received an inheritance that allowed him to live with his younger sister, Dorothy. That same year, Wordsworth met Samuel Taylor Coleridge. They became friends, and together worked on Lyrical Ballads (1798). The volume contained poems such as Coleridge’s “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” and Wordsworth’s “Tintern Abbey”. Their writing helped Romanticism take hold in English poetry. Wordsworth began writing ‘The Prelude’ 1798 itself. He produced other poetry, “Lucy” and wrote a preface for the second edition of “Lyrical Ballads”. Indirectly the work describes the principles of Romanticism.
Before Wordsworth started writing, poetry had a different strata of theme and language. The genre was believed to belong to the aristocratic class, the themes were didactic and the language used was ornate and elevating. French Revolution gave voice to commoners and the work Lyrical Ballads brought a radical change in English Poetry, by making the world of common man ,the subject or theme of the poem and using common English as its medium.
This work, Lyrical Ballads was the beginning of Romantic Age in England. This age was marked by spontaneity of emotions, free verse, freedom of expression, beauty in the minutest things, significance of Nature as the creator of the world, imagination etc. It won’t be wrong to say that Wordsworth was the pioneer who was influenced by French Revolution and brought Romance into English Literature and his contributions has relevance in today’s context also.