Cornell’s famed Wordsworth Collection includes the earliest known portrait of the poet, painted by William Shuter in 1798 when Wordsworth was only 28 years old.

William Wordsworth and the Romantic Imagination:
A Scholar's Collection

FEBRUARY 7 - MAY 30, 2000

An exhibition curated by Paul F. Betz, A.M. '63, Ph.D. '65




We Poets in our youth begin in gladness;
But thereof comes in the end despondency and madness.

from "Resolution and Independence"




Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections
Cornell Univversity Library


A unique copy of William Wordsworth’s Poetical Works (1827), annotated with revisions in the author’s own hand, was added in 1999 to the library’s extensive collection of works by and about the celebrated English poet. The five-volume set was purchased by the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections at a Sotheby’s auction in London, using funds from an endowment established by M. H. Abrams, professor emeritus of English. Shown here: Wordsworth’s handwritten revisions to his poem "Michael."
Annotated "Michael"

1831 Portrait


An 1831 engraving of a portrait of Wordsworth by renowned artist Benjamin Robert Haydon, a gift to Cornell University Library by Paul Betz in honor of emeritus English professor Stephen Parrish