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William Wordsworth travelled widely on the Continent well through middle age. This included an extended stay in France in 1791 and 1792, where he became a supporter of the French Revolution and very much influenced by the ideas of Rousseau. Wordsworth’s 1799 trip to Germany was mainly for the purpose of accompanying Coleridge, who was very interested in German theological and philosophical ideas.
Wordsworth’s 1801 poem, "I travelled among unknown men,” refers to an experience of homesickness for the English countryside, and thus deals not with a desire to leave England but a desire to return there. Although this appears mixed with a longing for “Lucy”, and is associated with the pastoral nostalgia of the other Lucy poems, the actual biographical significance of the poem is less than it may appear. We don’t actually know if the poem refers to real events or a real woman, or whether Wordsworth is synthesizing multiple real and imagined experiences for the sake of a poetic statement.
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