Wordsworth's romantic critique of industrial life and society was backward-looking. His 'Golden Age ideal' of pastoral life and rural relationships falls within the scope of English 'populism' as found among the middle ranks of small independent producers and their idealogues. Furthermore his rural education and up-bringing in the remote North of England explain his long-term shift from radical and whig reformer to tory placeman in the years 1789 to 1832 as well as his relative demise as a poet.

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