It is two hundred and seventeen years since Wordsworth visited Tintern Abbey for the second time, five years after his first visit, and then composed his celebrated Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey; there have been some changes at the Abbey since. The vegetation that in Wordsworth’s time grew in and on the ancient walls has been cleared away, for it would eventually have ruined the ruins. But that, as you might have guessed, is not the greatest change.

I doubt that in 1798, the date of the poem, there would have been a notice informing him that ancient monuments can be dangerous, followed by an enumeration of the various hazards consequent upon visiting them, with little...

Introduce yourself to The New Criterion for the lowest price ever—and a receive an extra issue as thanks.
Popular Right Now