A few weeks ago I gave the Jonathan Wordsworth Memorial Lecture at the Royal Institution in London (where Coleridge lectured on Shakespeare!), for the Wordsworth Trust. It was called 'The Poet and the River' -- I hope a podcast version will be online soon -- and was about how Wordsworth, Coleridge and more recently Ted Hughes wrote much of their best poetry under the influence of rivers. One section was about Wordsworth's childhood memories of his home by the river Derwent in Cockermouth. It is with the music of that river that the first (1799) Prelude began. Little did I know that a few weeks later, the Derwent would be in Wordsworth's house.
Jonathan Bate, Provost of Worcester College and Professor of English Literature in the University of Oxford, is well known as a Shakespeare scholar, biographer, critic and broadcaster. He was previously Professor of Shakespeare & Renaissance Literature at the University of Warwick.