This introductory chapter sets up the main contours of the book's argument, situates the study of Wordsworth in relation to the history of his influence and reception, and begins to outline what might be meant by "fun" and associated terms as they recur throughout the book (laughter, folly, play, humor, wit, and so on). It begins by offering a reading of the various "faces" of Wordsworth, then moves to a discussion of the poet's sustained interest in comic forms of achievement, and ends by turning to "Benjamin The Waggoner" as an exemplar of the peculiar kind of humor the book is interested in tracking.
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