Our English Lakes, Mountains, and Waterfalls
- Wordsworth, William

Poets Featured with External Resources

Other Works in the Collection by the Photographer(s)

Related Books by Photographic Process

Poems (Albumen prints)

Airdrie and Fugitive Pieces (Albumen prints)

Song of the Bell (Albumen prints)

Commentary

This posthumous Wordsworth anthology contains shorter poems as well as extracts from longer works, paired with photographs by Thomas Ogle, with the ‘assistance’ of which, the anonymous introduction states, ‘will the Reader be able … to appreciate more fully Wordsworth’s wonderfully true descriptions of the beauties of Nature; but the Tourist will have the additional pleasure of identifying with his own favourite spot any of the Poet’s verses which refer specifically to it.’ The equating of reader with tourist became a common trope for nineteenth-century photopoetry, and Our English Lakes acts as a kind of guidebook for tourists to Cumberland and Westmoreland. Wordsworth’s ‘true’ descriptions, then, are verifiable by photography, and while this might be argued as in some way undermining the verse, it also reflects a more general tendency in photography of this period to capture spectacular ‘views’, a sublimity echoed in the work of the Romantic poets. Each of Ogle’s photographs are captioned, and include a page number to ensure the reader does not miss the reference to the verse. Most noteworthy, however, is the volume’s epigraph, drawn from Wordsworth’s Excursion and used, it seems, to suggest a reference for the photographic eye over the poetic:

Ah! that such beauty, varying in the light
Of living nature, cannot be portrayed
By words, nor the pencil’s silent skill;
But it is the property of him alone
Who hath beheld it, noted it with care,
And in his mind recorded it with love.

Photographs: ‘Rydal Mount, the residence of Wordsworth,’ frontispiece; ‘Winandermere: Looking East,’ p.16; ‘Blea Tarn, Langdale,’ p.30; ‘Dungeon-Ghyll,’ p.37; ‘Rydale Water; from Loughrigg Fell, looking towards Easedale,’ p.51; ‘The Upper Fall; Rydale,’ p.47; ‘Grasmere; from Red Bank,’ p.67; ‘Derwent-Water,’ p.97; ‘Brougham Castle; from the North,’ p.107; ‘Honister Crag; Looking West,’ p.128; ‘The Bowder Stone, Borrowdale; (Scawfell in the Distance),’ p.143; ‘Aira Force; Ulleswater,’ p.169; ‘Wordsworth’s Tomb; Grasmere Church-Yard,’ p.183.

Book Details

Author: Wordsworth, William
Title: Our English Lakes, Mountains, and Waterfalls
Publication Year: 1864
Poets Featured: Wordsworth, William
Photographers Featured: Ogle, Thomas
Subjects: Lake District, England, Description and travel
Photographic process: Albumen prints

This book can be found in the University of St Andrews Library catalogue HERE