Sassoon Biopic/Rydal Mount Memorabilia – Poetry News Roundup January 20th

We begin the week with a look at the new about the Biopic film about Siegfried Sassoon and the collection of memorabilia donated to Rydal Mount.

Jack Lowden Named as Lead in Biopic About Poet

The actor Jack Lowden has been named for the starring role in the biopic “Benediction”. The film, which is the work of writer-director Terence Davies, will tell the tale of WW1 poet Siegfried Sassoon.

Lowden, who was a recent rising star nominee at the BAFTAs, will play the English poet and soldier who was decorated during the war for his bravery at the Western Front. He is perhaps best remembered for the poems that he wrote about the First World War. The bought him both critical and public acclaim. He is also remembered as the soldier who made a solitary protest against the war, continuing whilst he was still at the front.

The film has been a long time coming, and a significant number of the details are being kept very much a secret for the time being. Davies, a British filmmaker, has directed a number of movies the most recent one which was filmed in 2016 was about Emily Dickinson the American poet and titled “A Quiet Passion”.

Collection of Wordsworth Treasures Donated to Rydal Mount

A collection of treasures that have been recently discovered to have belonged to the poet William Wordsworth have been donated to Rydal Mount, the poet’s Lake District home, by some of his descendants.

The collection is a truly stunning find, and includes two portraits which have never been seen in public before and have not been seen for several generations; having been hidden away. One of the paintings was painted by a close friend of the poet, Sir William Boxall, who was a celebrated portrait artist of the time. It is an oil painting and believed to be the final version of a study that has been on display in the National Portrait Gallery in London for many years. The painting depicts the poet as he emerges from a glowering landscape.

The other portrait, which was drawn by Samuel Crosthwaite, is believed to be the last portrait ever made of the poet while he was alive and is a charcoal and chalk drawing. In this Wordsworth is pictured at the end of his life as a wild old man, the complete opposite of the far more familiar image we have of him from the other portraits in existence.

However, the crowning glory of the collection, and of significant interest to many Wordsworth fans is the family bible. This features the dates not only of the poet’s parents’ marriage but also marks the birth, and christening dates of all their children, all written in copperplate.

Whilst these three items are being hailed as the treasures of the collection there are also a number of other items of significant interest. These include a number of walking sticks that belonged to the poet, and also an artist’s rendition of a house that Wordsworth had planned to build in a local field.

The items have been donated to Rydal Mount by direct descendants of the poet following the death of their elderly relative.

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