The Royal Mint has launched (9th March) new gold and silver commemorative crown coins on the 250th anniversary of the birth of one of the country’s most beloved poets and regarded the world over as one of the greatest authors to have ever written in the English language. William Wordsworth (1770–1850) grew up near the Lake District in England, which was this beautiful landscape that provided him with constant inspiration when writing poetry. Having grown up in this idyllic part of the country, this was undoubtedly Wordworth’s inspiration for his poetry which came from the beautiful scenery that he encountered every day.
Credited with beginning the English Romantic period in literature, Wordsworth’s collaboration with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lyrical Ballads, published in 1798, is considered a stylistically groundbreaking collection of poems. While Wordsworth’s romantic epic, The Prelude, is regarded as one of the greatest works in English literature. Wordsworth’s love of nature was expressed in his poetry which was published during the Napoleonic Wars, known to have been a dark and frightening time. The conflict had destroyed lives, buildings, and churned up land. In response, Wordsworth shone a light on the natural world and celebrated the landscape in all its glory. He was one of the first writers to draw people’s attention to nature and its raw beauty.
As part of the national celebrations marking the 250th birthday of William Wordsworth, an authentic restoration of his Lake District home is being completed, which is being coordinated with a yearlong calendar of activities to encourage a greater appreciation of his work than ever before. The official reopening of Dove Cottage will take place on the 7th April 2020, the actual anniversary of his birth, and will be followed in early autumn by the reopening of the museum. The £6.2 million transformation, supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, will mark the completion of a significant capital project to transform the visitor experience across the hamlet of Town End, home to Dove Cottage. The release of these commemorative coins contributes to highlighting Wordsworth’s work, not only to a nationwide audience but internationally during this special year.
The reverse side of the coins is designed by acclaimed artist David Lawrence, who has featured lines taken from Wordsworth’s celebrated poem, “Lines Written a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey,” weaving them into a design showcasing the magnificent scenery that inspired him. The inscription featured reads Nature never did betray the heart that loved her with the text 1770 WILLIAM WORDSWORTH 1850 placed above the primary design along the edge.
The obverse side includes the fifth numismatic effigy of HM Queen Elizabeth II created by Royal Mint engraver Jody Clark that was introduced on all circulation and commemorative British coinage in 2015. The edge of both the gold and silver coins includes incused lettering which reads I WANDERED LONELY AS A CLOUD.
|28 g||38.6 mm||Brilliant Unc.||
|28.2 g||38.6 mm||Proof||
|39.94 g||38.6 mm||Proof||
The three-coin versions are available in several options, from a Brilliant Uncirculated base metal to precious metal silver and gold Proof.
The silver coins are presented in black matte custom cases, accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. The gold Proof quality coins are presented in polished hardwood cases, accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. For additional information about these coins and others offered by the Royal Mint, please visit their website.