Wordsworth tells us that we have lost our connection with nature and that sometimes it is better to return to a past stage of civilisation if this allows us to enjoy and to be more conscious of the importance of nature. I'd rather be 10 A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn; 11 So might I, standing on this pleasant lea, 12 Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn; 13 Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea; 14 Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.
Especially is this statement true in respect to individuals, no matter how other. Little do we know of the greatest men of the past who have had to trust for the perpetuation of the facts of their personal history, not to official documents, but to the distinction they have gained in scholarship or letters, to the interest which the work they have done may have inspired in their contemporaries.
Our information in regard to nearly all the celebrated authors of antiquity, who took no part in public affairs, is of the most meagre and unsatisfactory nature. Nor are we much better off when we come down to a period nearer the present. Of most of that brilliant group of dramatists who made the Elizabethan age illustrious, we can scarcely be said to know anything worth knowing.
Facts and figures, often uncertain, and usually barren, comprise the principal part of the information contained in what are called their biographies. Yet this will not appear so strange when we come to consider how little is the acquaintance most of us have with the details that make up the biography of the most conspicuous living men of letters.
How many of the admirers of Tennyson, for instance, who for thirty years has occupied the foremost place in English literature, could give any but vague and fragmentary particulars of his personal history? Simple as the expedient may appear, it took ages to discover it.
Antiquity seems to have known nothing of auto- biography, strictly so called. The former is, indeed, so subordinate to the latter that it can scarcely be said to exist at all. In the genuine auto- biography the man himself must be the center about which everything else revolves; and events that take place in his time are described only as they impart additional interest to his own words or deeds.
The practice is now so common that it seems to us as if it must always have existed. Yet the work of which a slight account is to be given here, is perhaps one of the earliest of its kind known to literary history.
Among the chronicles and memorials of the Middle Ages, published under the direction of the Master of the Rolls, are several volumes of a scholar of the twelfth century, famous to some extent in his day, but now known by name only to few, and cared for by fewer still.
It has unfortunately only been Though the story is told in the third per- son, it isa genuine autobiography; and the work has even more interest than usually pertains to such productions.
This is partly due to the fact that it belongs to a class of writings uncommon in that age, and having in consequence the attrac- tion of rarity. But in addition, the excessive vanity of its author imparts that peculiar fascination which all individual charec- teristics, whether good or bad, exercise when exhibited in the full perfection of their greatness or their monstrosity.
More- over, the incidents and details interwoven with the personal narrative give frequently a vivid picture of contemporary life, of which from regular histories we should catch only the vaguest outlines. To some it may be of interest to get even a faint idea of a man, especially from his own point of view, who in his time was far from being an insignificant personage in the eyes of those with whom he came into contact, and in his own eyes was about the most important personage of his age.
Full of egregious vanity, full of distorted facts, full of violent invec- tive his statements are. But the very qualities that lower to a certain extent our estimation of the writer, have also the effect of imparting additional interest to what he wrote.
For the accuracy of what he says he alone is responsible; our duty is done when we set forth in another tongue and with far less detail some of the incidents which he records. Gerald de Barn was born in the castle of Manorbeer, in South- western Wales, about three miles from the town of Pembroke.
The time of his birth is uncertain. It is, indeed, entirely a matter of inference, from declarations made by himself in his writings, as to his age in particular years. This, it might seem, would furnish information sufficiently satisfactory.
For in all his statements in regard to everybody and everything, Gerald de Barn invariably exhib- ited a generous disdain for mere dates and figures, which have made many of his assertions the despair of editors who have fettered themselves with frivolous habits of accuracy.
The year of his birth, however, must have been in the neighborhood of Both on the spear and the spindle side he was of high descent. His father, William de Barn, was an important mem- ber of the Norman nobility.
His mother belonged to one of A Scholar of the Twelfth Yerdury. His grandmother, the then somewhat celebrated, or at least notorious Nesta, was the daughter of the prince of South Wales, and before her mar- riage to Gerald de Windsor, the constable of Pembroke, had been the mistress of Henry I.
But in those times, and especially among the Welsh, the marriage bond pressed lightly.The World is too Much with Us Introduction In A Nutshell William Wordsworth was one of the founders of the literary movement we now call Romanticism, a period covering (roughly) the years to .
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The World Is Too Much With Us William Wordsworth, - The world is too much with us; late and soon, Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers; Little we see in Nature that is ours; We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
A summary of “The world is too much with us” in William Wordsworth's Wordsworth’s Poetry. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Wordsworth’s Poetry and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans.
"The World Is Too Much with Us" is a Petrarchan sonnet written by William Wordsworth. Its first eight lines (the octet) pose a question or problem, and its last six lines (the sestet) give a response or solution. The problem in this sonnet's octet is that humanity has lost its respect for and connection with nature/5(26).
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