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Indiana University Bloomington

Online Tour: Wordsworth Room

Photograph of Wordsworth Room
Foyer | Main Gallery | Lincoln Room | Ellison Room | Elisabeth Ball Room
Slocum Room | Reading Room | Portrait Gallery | Mendel Room | Wordsworth Room

This room houses part of the Lilly Library's Wordsworth collection, the nucleus of which was acquired by Indiana University in 1943 from Oscar L. Watkins of Indianapolis. A prize piece in this room is the white marble bust of Wordsworth, sculpted by Sir Francis Chantrey when Wordsworth was fifty years old. It was the only bust completed during Wordsworth's lifetime and he was so pleased with it that he had plaster copies made to present to a few friends. The original is the one in the Lilly Library.

The life-mask is a replica of one cast in bronze by Benjamin Haydon when Wordsworth was forty-five years old. It was presented to the Lilly Library by Cooper P. Speaks.

The large oil portrait is a copy of Benjamin Haydon's "Wordsworth on Helvellyn." Of the original, Wordsworth said, "I myself think it is the best likeness..." The small watercolor portrait was done by Henry William Pickersgill, and is believed to have been painted in 1850-51. It was a study of Pickersgill's oil portrait of the poet, which now hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in London.

The lap-top desk belonged to Wordsworth's wife, Mary.