In this fascinating account, Kenneth R. Johnston portrays a Wordsworth different in crucial ways from the one the poet intended us to know. Taking advantage of unprecedented access to archives, family papers, and letters, he reveals the poet's complex relationship with his sister Dorothy; the full story of the affair with his French mistress, Annette Vallon; and his surprisingly close connections to both radical reformers and the political establishment of his day, including members of the newly formed British Secret Service in England and Germany. The Hidden Wordsworth also explores the poet's intense and often destructive relations with a cluster of young writers, leading up to his friendship with Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
This brilliantly insightful biography breaks through the carefully crafted but frequently misleading accounts of his youth Wordsworth created in his conservative later years. The Hidden Wordsworth reveals the radical young poet whose powerful intellect revolutionized English poetry.