Simon Bainbridge - “His Great Idol”: William Wordsworth & John Milton
Wednesday 20th May at 8.00pm
Memorial Hall, School Lane HP8 4JJ
2020 sees the global celebration of the 250th anniversary of the birth of William Wordsworth, one of the nation’s greatest poets. This talk will join the celebrations by examining the influence on Wordsworth of his epic predecessor, John Milton. As William Hazlitt commented of Wordsworth: “Milton is his great idol, and he sometimes dares to compare himself with him”. Why did Wordsworth idolise Milton? And to what extent are their works comparable? The talk will focus on the poets’ powerful political sonnets and on their two great epics,
The Prelude and Paradise Lost, the latter completed at Milton’s Cottage in Chalfont St Giles. Simon Bainbridge is Professor of Romantic Studies at the University of Lancaster. He is a Trustee of the Wordsworth Trust, the charity that oversees the poet’s former home at Dove Cottage, Grasmere. He has also served as President of the British Association for Romantic Studies. He is the author of numerous books and essays on the Romantic poets. His latest book, ‘Mountaineering and British Romanticism’, was published in April 2020.