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The Upper Fall, Rydale

The Upper Fall, Rydale

Photographer: Ogle, Thomas

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1864

Shelfmark: 1347.f.21

Item number: 47

Length: 8.5

Width: 9

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

View by Thomas Ogle of the Upper Fall of the Rydal Cascades in the Lake District, illustrating 'Our English Lakes, Mountains, And Waterfalls, as seen by William Wordsworth' (1864). The book juxtaposes photographs of the Lake District with poems by the English Romantic poet. The falls are situated near the Cumbrian town of Ambleside in the heart of the Lake District where Wordsworth (1770-1850) made his home. His work was greatly inspired by the beautiful and sublime qualities of the lakeland scenery and the natural world around him. The Rydal Cascades in particular are a famous site in the history of the Picturesque appreciation of landscape. Since the late 17th century they have been visited, written about and painted by many notable authors and artists. The following stanza is taken from ‘Emma’s Dell’ (1800), one of Wordsworth’s 'Poems on the Naming of Places', which the photograph accompanies:

“– Up the brook
I roamed in the confusion of my heart,
Alive to all things and forgetting all.
At length I to a sudden turning came
In this continuous glen, where down a rock
The stream, so ardent in its course before,
Sent forth such sallies of glad sound, that all
Which I till then had heard, appeared the voice
Of common pleasure: beast and bird, the lamb,
The shepherd’s dog, the linnet and the thrush,
Vied with this waterfall, and made a song
Which, while I listened, seemed like the wild growth
Or like some natural produce of the air,
That could not cease to be…”

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