Toby Benis challenges critical orthodoxy by arguing that Wordsworth rejected the political dogmas of his age. Refusing to ally with either radicals or conservatives after the French Revolution, the poet seizes on vagrants to attack the binary thinking dominating public affairs and to question the value of the Georgian domestic ideal. Drawing on current and historical discussions of homelessness, the study offers a cultural history of vagrancy and explains why Wordsworth chose the homeless to bear his message.
TOBY BENIS is Assistant Professor of English at Saint Louis University, St. Louis, USA.
Toby R. Benis
Date of Publication
Romanticism in Perspective: Texts, Cultures, Histories