From Library Journal
Literary biography is flourishing these days, and now it's Wordsworth's turn in this examination of the "episodes in a poetic life," or moments when the poems and life intersect. Mahoney (Boston Coll.; The English Romantics, 1978) gives a cautious nod here to deconstruction, which he sees as exposing the different and often opposed meanings of a text, as well as the New Historicism, which deepens the reader's sense of the poet's engagement with the world. But while Mahoney's approach is enriched by both of these contemporary strategies, his larger goal is to write neither a critical study nor a life per se but something more like a biography of the poet's career, when Wordsworth was, in the fullest sense, his most writerly self. This book does not replace Stephen Gill's William Wordsworth (Oxford Univ., 1989. o.p.), the most readable and scholarly of recent biographies, but it does offer new and thorough readings of the poems. For all literature collections.?David Kirby, Florida State Univ., Tallahassee
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aThis new biographical study of a Romantic poet uses key and representative writings of Wordsworth to examine his literary achievements as well as his life and growth. The analysis of poems throughout, keyed to Wordsworth's life and philosophy, allow college-level students of English literature a set of fine insights into Wordsworth's life based on interpretations of his works, among other sources."