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Windermere, Looking East

Windermere, Looking East

Photographer: Ogle, Thomas

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1864

Shelfmark: 1347.f.21

Item number: 16

Length: 8.5

Width: 9

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

View by Thomas Ogle of Windermere 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. Windermere is the largest lake in England and is renowned for its beautiful views. There are eighteen islands on the lake of which the largest is Belle Isle, and two towns on its margins, Bowness and Ambleside. Wordsworth (1770-1850) lived nearby and in his ‘Guide to the Lakes’ (published in five editions between 1810 and 1835), wrote: “None of the other Lakes unfold so many fresh beauties to him who sails upon them…The Islands may be explored at any time of day; but one bright unruffled evening must, if possible, be set apart for the splendour, the stillness, the solemnity of a three hours’ voyage upon the higher division of the Lake…”. The lake was a source of inspiration for his poetry, for example this stanza from ‘An Evening Walk’ (1787-9) which the photograph accompanies:

“Hung o’er a cloud above the steep that rears
Its edge all flame, the broadening sun appears;
A long blue bar its aegis orb divides,
And breaks the spreading of its golden tides;
And now it touches on the purple steep
That flings his shadow on the pictured deep.
‘Cross the calm lake’s blue shades the cliffs aspire,
With towers and woods, a ‘prospect all on fire;’
The coves and secret hollows, through a ray
Of fainter gold, a purple gleam betray.”

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