In Wordsworth's Footsteps

Episodes

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011. Spots Of Time20200129

Far more than the famous author of 'Daffodils', William Wordsworth was a creative radical and one of the greatest ever English poets. 250 years after his birth in 1770, Professor Jonathan Bate travels in his footsteps to reveal the true story of the making of the poet.

1. Spots of Time

Jonathan tells not only of Wordsworth's formative childhood but also uncovers a new theory about why Wordsworth's poetry diminished in power as he aged and why he refused to have his great autobiographical epic, The Prelude, published until after his death.

In the English Lakes, he visits Wordsworth's birthplace in Cockermouth and his later homes in Grasmere and Rydal Mount, speaking with leading contemporary poet Alice Oswald, writer and Lakes shepherd James Rebankis, and broadcaster Melvyn Bragg.

With Simon Russell Beale as Wordsworth and music specially composed by Emily Levy. Also featuring Laura Christy as Dorothy Wordsworth and viola playing by Aby Vulliamy.

Professor Sir Jonathan Bate is a British academic, novelist and broadcaster, and the author of a forthcoming biography of Wordsworth.

Producer: Beaty Rubens

The making of the radical poet William Wordsworth 250 years after his birth. 1. The Lakes

Jonathan Bate reveals the true story of the making of the poet and political radical.

022 Bliss Was It In That Dawn20200205

William Wordsworth was not only one of the greatest English poets but also a creative radical, and - at least in his student days - a political one too. 250 years after his birth in 1770, Professor Jonathan Bate travels in his footsteps to reveal the true story of the making of the poet.

1.Bliss Was It In That Dawn

Jonathan travels from Westminster Bridge to Paris and Calais as he relates the powerful and poignant story of Wordsworth's visit to Paris on the first anniversary of the French Revolution and in its aftermath. Alongside vivid recreations of Wordsworth's initial excitement about the possibility for real change, Jonathan also tells of his love affair with a royalist sympathiser, the birth of their illegitimate child, and Wordsworth's shift from radical politics to radical poetry in his later years.

With contributions from historian Professor Lynn Hunt, leading British poet Alice Oswald and writer and broadcaster Melvyn Bragg.

Featuring Simon Russell Beale as Wordsworth and music specially composed by Emily Levy. Also with Laura Christy as Dorothy Wordsworth and viola playing by Aby Vulliamy.

Professor Sir Jonathan Bate is a British academic, novelist and broadcaster, and the author of a forthcoming biography of Wordsworth

Producer: Beaty Rubens

The making of the radical poet William Wordsworth 250 years after his birth. 2. France

Jonathan Bate reveals the true story of the making of the poet and political radical.

03A Sense Sublime20200212

William Wordsworth was not only one of the greatest English poets but also a creative and political radical. 250 years after his birth in 1770, Professor Jonathan Bate travels in his footsteps to reveal the true story of the making of the poet.

3. A Sense Sublime
Jonathan travels to the West Country to tell the story of the formative years which Wordsworth spent there, reunited with his sister Dorothy and in the first flush of his collaborative friendship with Samuel Taylor Coleridge. It was a collaboration that was to lead to the publication of the radical poetry collection Lyrical Ballads - a collection that, for the first time, celebrated the lives of the poor and dispossessed, the disabled and the mentally ill. He goes on to find the very spot where Wordsworth took inspiration for one of his most sublime celebrations of humanity.

Featuring Simon Russell Beale as Wordsworth and music specially composed by Emily Levy. With contributions from leading British poet Alice Oswald, actor Emily Woof and Adam Nicholson, author of a new study of the collaboration between Coleridge and Wordsworth. Also with Laura Christy as Dorothy Wordsworth and viola playing by Aby Vulliamy.

Professor Sir Jonathan Bate is a British academic, novelist and broadcaster, and the author of a forthcoming biography of Wordsworth

Producer: Beaty Rubens

The making of the radical poet William Wordsworth 250 years after his birth. 3. Somerset

Jonathan Bate reveals the true story of the making of the poet and political radical.