Wordsworth's Aeneid and the influence of its eighteenth-century predecessors

Widmer, M. (2017) Wordsworth's Aeneid and the influence of its eighteenth-century predecessors. Translation and Literature, 26(1), pp. 23-51. (doi:10.3366/tal.2017.0274)

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Abstract

William Wordsworth's attempt at translating Virgil's Aeneid reached as far as Book 4, and mostly survives in manuscript drafts. The literary influences behind it can be illuminated through the poet's correspondence, and analysed more fully by tracing verbal echoes and other resonances in his translation. Despite the hostility he expressed towards Dryden and Pope, the foremost translators of the previous age, Wordsworth followed them in using heroic couplets, and, as has previously been argued, his translation draws increasingly on Dryden's Aeneis the further he advanced with his project. But Wordsworth owes an equally large debt, hitherto unrecognized, to the eighteenth-century blank verse renderings by Joseph Trapp and others, who anticipated many of his supposed stylistic innovations.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Linguistics and language, literature and literary theory, language and linguistics.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Widmer, Dr Matthias
Authors: Widmer, M.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Literature
Journal Name:Translation and Literature
Publisher:Edinburgh University Press
ISSN:0968-1361
ISSN (Online):1750-0214
Published Online:01 February 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 Edinburgh University Press
First Published:First published in Translation and Literature 26(1):23-51
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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