Description of the Scenery of the Lakes in Northern England, 4th Edition, 1823

This is the 4th edition of the work commonly known as Wordsworth’s Guide to the Lakes. It expands upon Wordsworth’s previously published descriptions of the Lake District (1810, 1820, 1822), the earliest of which appeared as the anonymous introduction to Joseph Wilkinson’s 1810 Select Views of Cumberland, Westmoreland, and Lancashire and as an appendix to Wordsworth’s 1820 River Duddon volume of poems. Now, in a stand-alone guidebook, Wordsworth provides a historical picture of society in the region, loving depictions of the landscape, and practical travel information for inhabitants and tourists. Wordsworth encourages his reader to protect the Lakeland ecology, emphasizing that “much of the charm that was, depended upon what was not.” Wordsworth is rightly remembered as a pioneer of environmentalist writing.

Contributed by Chelsey Clay