Wordsworth’s The Prelude took the poet over 40 years to complete. Originally, he intended to use the poem as an introduction for a second work, The Recluse, but ultimately, he decided that the ideas and philosophies in The Prelude were so important that he made the poem a work in and of itself. The poem focuses on Wordsworth’s life and specifically on his development as a poet. Structurally, the poem is composed of 14 episodes or books, each of which marks a pivotal point in Wordsworth’s beliefs. Book One centers on the poet’s childhood and highlights nature as a powerful spiritual force that imbues in the poet his lyrical abilities. The next series of books are seasonal episodes in which Wordsworth recounts the genesis and growth of his imagination. In the following books, Wordsworth describes his travels to France and his ideals of individual liberty. Eventually, the poet becomes disillusioned with the brutality of the revolution, but he retains the belief in the power of ordinary people. He then recounts his return to the Lake District where his spirit is revived after having witnessed atrocities of the revolution. In the final books of The Prelude, Wordsworth returns to a state similar to the simple and joyful state of his childhood. The Lake District offers him a place of serenity and meditation. In the final book of The Prelude, Wordsworth offers his thanks to his sister, Dorothy, and to his fellow poet, Samuel Coleridge for their friendship and support. Over his lifetime, Wordsworth reworked and revised The Prelude numerous times, and there are striking differences between the variations. The final collection of poems was ultimately published after Wordsworth’s death by his sister, Dorothy, in 1850.