Literary Feuds: Dickens and Wordsworth

atkins-bookshelf-literatureIn 1843, a mutual friend introduced England’s poet laureate William Wordsworth to up-and-coming novelist Charles Dickens. At the time, Wordsworth being 73 years of age was more than twice Dickens’ age (31). Shortly after their meeting, the friend asked Wordsworth what he thought of the famous writer. “Why, I am not much given to turn critic on people I meet,” he replied, “But, as you ask me, I will candidly avow that I thought him  a very talkative, vulgar young person — but I dare say he may be very clever. Mind, I don’t want to say a word against him, for I have never read a line he has written.” Bah! Humbug! And what did Dickens think of Wordsworth? “Like him? Not at all. He is a dreadful Old Ass.” Touché! 

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Writers Gone Wild: The Feuds, Frolics, and Follies of Literature’s Great Adventurers
Wordsworth: Poems (Everyman’s Library Pocket Poets)

Read related posts: Literary Feuds: Faulkner and Hemingway
William Faulkner on the Writer’s Duty

Daily Rituals of Writers: William Faulkner
William Faulkner on Sanctuary

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