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William Wordsworth was born April 7 1770 in Cockermouth Cumberland to John and Anne Cookson Wordsworth the second of their five children His father was a law agent and rent collector for Lord Lonsdale and the family was fairly well off After his mothers death in 1778 he was sent to Hawkshead Grammar School near Windermere in 1787 he went up to St Johns College Cambridge He enjoyed hiking during the long ie summer vacation of 1788 he tramped around Cumberland county two years later went on a walking tour of France Switzerland and Germany and in 1791 after graduation trekked through Wales His enthusiasm for the French Revolution took him to France again in 1791 where he had an affair with Annette Vallon who bore him an illegitimate daughter Caroline in 1792 Having run out of money Wordsworth returned to England the following year and the Anglo-French war following the Reign of Terror prevented his return for nine years In 1794 he was reunited with his sister Dorothy who became his companion close friend moral support and housekeeper until her physical and mental decline in the 1830s The next year he met Coleridge and the three of them grew very close the two men meeting daily in 1797-98 to talk about poetry and to plan Lyrical Ballads which came out in 1798 The three friends traveled to Germany that fall a trip that produced intellectual stimulation for Coleridge and homesickness for Wordsworth After their return William and Dorothy settled in his beloved Lake district near Grasmere The Peace of Amiens in 1802 allowed Wordsworth and his sister to visit France again to see Annette and Caroline They arrived at a mutually agreeable settlement and a few months later after receiving an inheritance owed by Lord Lonsdale since John Wordsworths death in 1783 William married Mary Hutchinson By 1810 they had five children but their happiness was tempered by the loss
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