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Johnston, Kenneth R : The Hidden Wordsworth - Poet, Lover, Rebel, Spy
W.W. Norton, New York, 1998
8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. A near Fine unmarked copy (Fine apart from some light creases to 6 pages possibly caused in production) with near Fine dustjacket which is not price clipped. First edition, first printing. xxii + 965 pages. 87 illustrations. 9 maps. Map of Wordsworth's London 1791-1795 and Paris 1791-1793 endpapers. In this fascinating account, Professor Kenneth R. Johnston portrays a Wordsworth different in crucial ways from the one that the poet intended us to know. Taking advantage of unprecedented access to government archives in England and France, family papers, school and university records, and intimate letters, he brings little known aspects of Wordsworth's life and character to the fore, revealing for example: that Wordsworth was more sexually experienced than he let on, exploring the poet's contradictory accounts of the dancing girls he met on the shores of Lake Como in 1790 and his detailed knowledge of prostitution in Cambridge; the true story of his affair with Annette Vallon during his year in France 1791/2, the illegitimate child he fathered with her, and the impact of her frank eroticism on his poetry; his clandestine return to France in the fall of 1793, and his continuing contact with Annette Vallon; and, most astonishing of all, Wordsworth's likely spy missions for the newly formed British Secret Service in Germany and at home. Johnston unfolds a life that Byron might have envied, and Wordsworth's attempts to hide his 'juvenile errors' from his contemporaries and history, but they did not disappear, and many of them stare us in the face from the lines of his greatest poetry. **** A HEAVY VOLUME OF 1.5 KILO UNPACKED WEIGHT WHICH MAY REQUIRE EXTRA SHIPPING COST **** **** NOT EX LIB **** 2. Book Condition: Near Fine. Binding: Hard Cover. Jacket: Near Fine
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