A Treat for a Wordsworth Expert

A Treat for a Wordsworth Expert

Rattigan Professor of English Emeritus John L. Mahoney Sr. will crown his long and illustrious Boston College career with still another honor when he delivers the annual Wordsworth Memorial Lecture in Rydal Church in England on May 30.

Mahoney, who received an honorary degree from the University at Commencement Exercises Monday, has researched, written and taught about poet William Wordsworth (1770-1850) throughout his distinguished academic career.

Noted academicians and literary aficionados from the United Kingdom and North America gather in England's Lake District at this time each year for the annual Wordsworth Lecture held in the Anglican church where the romantic poet worshipped during the final years of his life.

"When I look at that cast of characters that has proceeded me [presenting the Rydal Lecture], I see some of my 'heroes.' I feel as though I am either intimidated or challenged; I don't know which. But it should be very interesting," Mahoney said.

"I am thrilled about Boston College [honorary degree] but I am quite thrilled about this, too," said Mahoney, who has titled his lecture "William Wordsworth of Rydal: Religious Experience and Religious Practice."

Mahoney said the format of the Rydal program is an hour-long lecture followed by a 30-minute question and answer period. "For those of us who live in a world where you give 20 to 30 minute papers at conferences, it's a long paper," laughed Mahoney, who retired from full-time teaching last year after 47 years as one of the University's most respected and well-liked faculty members.

-Reid Oslin


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