By W. K. Thomas
Wordsworth depicted Newton, as Roubiliac may possibly have performed in his statue of him, as voyaging, in ecstasy, via God's sensorium. within the Prelude passage from which the name A brain For Ever Voyaging is derived, and in quite a few others portraying Newton and technology, Wordsworth turns out to have written for 2 audiences, most people and a way smaller, deepest viewers, whereas looking to increase the minds of either to God. Like Pope ahead of him, Wordsworth completed "What oft used to be wrought, yet ne'er so good exprest."
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Additional resources for A Mind For Ever Voyaging: Wordsworth at Work Portraying Newton and Science
58 F. E. L. Priestley has pointed to a series of events: Locke's interpreting of Newton (while greatly influenced by Hobbes), the seizing on his interpretation by French materialists, and the consequent emergence of a materialistic and mechanistic view of Newton's universe that was totally unlike Newton's but that was still presented as if it were Newton's. 59 This is how, presumably, such a view as that presented by E. A. 61 Evidently all five of Blake, Shelley, Coleridge, Keats, and Lamb were, at one time or another and to whatever degree, taken in by the false Una.
31 And yet, in all his discoveries, Newton's sole aim and purpose was (like Wren's) to help mankind. As John Hughes put it, "Newton's soul. "32 Since the writers whose poems and poetical passages made up the corpus of praise to Newton all dealt, more or less, with the same kind of content, it is not surprising that they often made use of the same motifs and imagery. As Marjorie Hope Nicolson implies, when "the 'cosmic voyage' of the seventeenth century settled into the 'excursion' of the eighteenth century," 33 it was only natural to depict Newton, in either his own material person, his soul, or his mind, as travelling through the heavens.
Fortunately before too long the Duke of Marlborough, beginning with the Battle of Blenheim, provided England with an unparallelled series of military victories which made her, for a while, pre-eminent in Europe. In response, with unprecedented generosity, the government and people of England presented to their national hero the ducal (indeed regal) house of Blenheim Palace and scores of adulatory poems, from Joseph Addison's Campaign downwards. 14 Later there were similar outpourings of poetical praise (accompanied with pictorial adulation) as England enshrined still more martial heroes: Wolfe, Nelson, and Wellington.