Jonathan Wordsworth

Professor Jonathan Fletcher Wordsworth (1932 – 2006) was a great-great-great nephew of William Wordsworth and the great-great-grandson of Christopher Wordsworth, the younger brother of the poet and Master of Trinity College, Cambridge. An academic, literary critic and expert on the Romantic era in literature, Jonathan, as he preferred to be addressed by all, was a leading light on the work of William Wordsworth on whom he concentrated, not always uncritically, the bulk of his academic writings. His many critical pieces, innovative editions and books on his famous ancestral relative include The Music of Humanity (first published in 1969); William Wordsworth: The Borders of Vision (1984); William Wordsworth: The Pedlar, Tintern Abbey, The Two-Part Prelude (1985); and William Wordsworth and the Age of English Romanticism (1987).

Educated at Westminster School and Brasenose College, Oxford, in 1957 he became a Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford, where there is now a postgraduate scholarship in his name. He was an original and witty teacher who lauded good 'judgement' and stimulated independent thought; and he possessed an authoritative, humorous and unhackneyed style that inspired and refreshed many of his peers and students. He was later Professor of English Literature at St Catherine's College, Oxford.

His students at Oxford included Martin Amis, Christopher Reid, Craig Raine and N.W.O.Royle, the literary theorist. He was the Chairman of the Wordsworth Trust (1976 – 2002) and its President thereafter. He left behind three wives − the literary theorist Ann (Sherratt) Wordsworth, Lucy Newlyn, Professor of English at St Edmund Hall, Oxford, and Jessica Prince; and seven children − four with Ann and three with Jessica.

Famous quotes containing the word wordsworth:

    The homely Nurse doth all she can
    To make her Foster-child, her Inmate Man,
    Forget the glories he hath known,
    And that imperial palace whence he came.
    —William Wordsworth (1770–1850)