Adventures Abroad: The Wonders of Wordsworth

By: Caroline Scudder, Columnist

The adventure continues! If you recall from the last issue of The Paladin, I’ll be writing about my study abroad experience in the British Isles throughout the semester. After our glorious time studying Shakespeare and seeing his plays in Stratford-Upon Avon, we headed to the Lake District in Northern England. Here our classes officially began as we dove into British Romanticism Poetry and began learning about Landscape Ecology. Our days would alternate between our two classes and visiting the Wordsworth Trust. For all those English scholars out there, the area we visited in the Lake District was the birthplace of William Wordsworth, a famous Romantic poet. In line with our readings, we were able to examine the very same manuscripts that we had read on our computers the night before. We were shown the vast archives of the Trust and the efforts that are presently taking place to recreate Wordsworth’s life and legacy.

When we weren’t in learning about Wordsworth, you could find us either chilling at a coffee shop in the area or hiking the vast hills that inspired much of Wordsworth’s poetry. Hiking quickly became my go-to as I wanted to soak up as much of the area as possible. On one of our free afternoons, my friend and I decided to climb to the top of one of the mountains and amble our way back through a nearby town. While this venture was only supposed to take two to three hours, our experience lasted a solid five. Both of our phones stopped working on the way up and we were every so often hit by an occasional wave of rain. The view from the top, as always, was completely worth it. However, the next time I decide to climb a mountain, I will be bringing a map with me or studying the area in more detail before committing to such a journey.

All in all, it was awe-inspiring to see the sublime nature of the Lake District and learn about William Wordsworth as more than just a famous writer. Exploring the Trust showed me the number of revisions he wrote in his drafts of poems and the artistry behind his poetry firsthand as we held his first edition of Lyrical Ballads. Learning how to carefully cradle an older book’s spine and removing it off a shelf without harming its cover were moments that struck each of us with awe and whimsy. Our time here was calm and reflective, but next we move on to Scotland! There we will take an eight-day Scottish Highlands tour and then settle in Glasgow for a nice three-week? period to continue our studies and work with the University of Glasgow’s archives. Buckle up for the updates to come! 

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