Romanticism: Life, Literature and Landscape

Discover the working methods of Romantic poets and trace the evolution of celebrated verse with the manuscript collections of the Wordsworth Trust.

This digital resource offers unparalleled access to the single largest collection of working notebooks, verse manuscripts and correspondence of William Wordsworth and his fellow writers anywhere in the world. With access to the annotated full manuscripts of such notable works as The Prelude and Michael, or Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Dejection: An Ode this project is unrivalled in its content and scope.

Researchers and students can trace the interactions of key literary and political figures of the eighteenth and nineteenth century through the mass of personal correspondence and witness the close circles in which contemporary authors and artists moved and how they influenced each other’s work. Other materials include diaries, travel journals, scrapbooks, autograph books, financial records and receipts, each with detailed meta-data enabling in-depth analysis.

Bringing these materials and tools together in one resource presents exciting opportunities for teaching and study. It opens up new directions and possibilities for Romantic scholarship, and encourages a more holistic awareness of this rich period of English literary history than it is possible to convey through the use of a standard anthology.
Penelope Bradshaw, University of Cumbria

Key Data

Period Covered

  • 1768 - 1903


  • Explore William Wordsworth’s original verse manuscripts, working notebooks and some printed, annotated, editions.
  • Explore the places that inspired literary creativity and poetic genius by tracing the movements of Romantic writers, poets and artists, in and around the Lake District with an interactive map.
  • View over two thousand fine art pieces from celebrated artists such as John Constable, J.M.W. Turner, Thomas Gainsborough, Benjamin Robert Haydon and John Ruskin.
  • Search guide books, and eighteenth and nineteenth century maps of the Lake District from the digital collection of Martin and Jean Norgate.

Source Archive

  • The Wordsworth Trust, Dove Cottage, Grasmere, UK

Material Types

  • Notebooks
  • Scrapbooks
  • Autograph books
  • Letters
  • Diaries
  • Travel journals
  • Financial records and receipts
  • Verse manuscripts by other Romantic writers including Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Thomas de Quincey

Editorial Board

  • Penelope Bradshaw, University of Cumbria
  • Jeff Cowton, The Wordsworth Trust
  • Jared Curtis, Simon Fraser University
  • Michael Eberle-Sinatra, University of MontrĂ©al
  • Stephen Gill, University of Oxford
  • Iain McCalman, University of Sydney
  • Judith W. Page, University of Florida


  • The Age of Revolutions
  • Social and Political Idealism
  • The Power of the Imagination
  • Observations of Human Nature and Society
  • The Discovery of Nature
  • The Sublime

Key Features

  • Interactive map of the Lake District
  • Scholarly essays
  • Photographs of the Lake District courtesy of Martin and Jean Norgate Photography
  • Slideshow galleries
  • An Art Wall featuring essays on selected fine art pieces
  • Literary Lives biographies
  • Chronology


Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates through researchers/faculty.

Produced in partnership with the Wordsworth Trust, Romanticism focuses on primary and supplementary materials pertaining to William Wordsworth and other British Romantic literary figures such as Dorothy Wordsworth and Samuel ......