'The Excursion' and Wordsworth’s Iconography

'The Excursion' and Wordsworth’s Iconography

'The Excursion' and Wordsworth’s Iconography

Author: Brandon Yen (Queens' 2012)

Publisher: Liverpool University Press

This book considers William Wordsworth’s use of iconography in his long poem 'The Excursion'. Through the iconographical approach, the author steers a middle course between The Excursion’s two very different interpretive traditions, one focusing upon the poem’s philosophical abstraction, the other upon its touristic realism. Fresh readings are also offered of Wordsworth’s other major works, including 'The Prelude'.

The book explores Wordsworth’s iconography in 'The Excursion' by tracing allusions and correspondences in an abundance of post-1789 and earlier verbal and pictorial sources, as well as in Wordsworth’s prose and poetry. It analyses how the iconographical images in 'The Excursion' contribute to, and impose limitations on, the overarching preoccupations of Wordsworth’s writings, particularly the themes of paradise lost and paradise regained in the post-revolutionary context. Shedding light on a vital aspect of Wordsworth’s poetic method, this study reveals the visual etymologies – together with the nuances and rhetorical capacities – of five categories of apparently ‘collateral’ images: envisioning, rooting, dwelling, flowing, and reflecting.

Publication date: 
Sunday 30 September 2018

Buy online from

CAMCard discounts

Get up to 20% off when you use your CAMCard in selected book shops!