Robert Woof (scholar)

Robert Woof (scholar)

Dr. Robert Samuel Woof (born 20 April 1931 in Lancaster - died 7 November 2005 in Newcastle upon Tyne) was an English scholar, most famous for having been the first Director of the Wordsworth Trust and Museums Director of the Wordsworth Museum at Dove Cottage in Grasmere, Lake District, Cumbria. Dove Cottage is known as the centre for British Romanticism movement, having been the home of William Wordsworth from 1799-1808.

The actress Emily Woof is his daughter.



Robert Samuel Woof was the youngest of three children; their father was bailiff of Home Farm, part of the Royal Albert Institution, Lancaster

Early years: attended Scotforth School and Lancaster Royal Grammar School

1949 on a cycling tour: first visit to Dove Cottage

1953: graduation from Pembroke College, Oxford, where he had studied with a scholarship

1958: married Pamela Moore (two sons, two daughters)

1958-1961: doctorate with Goldsmith Travelling Fellowship as a lecturer at University of Toronto, PhD thesis on 'The Literary Relations of Wordsworth and Coleridge 1795-1803'

1961-1962: Lord Adams of Ennerdale Fellow

1962-1971: Newcastle upon Tyne University Lecturer

1971-1992: Reader in English Literature at Newcastle upon Tyne University

1983-1984: Leverhulme Fellow

1974-1989: Honorary Keeper of collections of books, manuscripts and paintings at Dove Cottage

1978-1995: Honorary Secretary and Treasurer of Dove Cottage

1982-1988: Vice-Chairman, Drama Panel, Arts Council

1985-1986: Acting Chairman, Drama Panel, Arts Council

1983-1984: Vice-Chairman, Literature Panel

1984-1988: Chairman, Literature Panel

1989-2005: Director, Wordsworth Trust and Wordsworth museum

1993-2000: Chairman, English Touring Theatre

1998: awarded an Order of the British Empire: CBE (Commander of the British Empire)

2000: fellow of the Royal Society of Literature


  • Robert Woof; William Wordsworth: Critical Heritage(Critical Heritage S.), Routledge, an imprint of Taylor & Francis Books Ltd - 22 November 2001, ISBN 978-0-415-03441-8, Hardcover
  • Michael Broughton; William Clarke; John Murdoch; Joanna Selbourne; Greg Smith; Robert Woof; The Spooner Collection of British Watercolours, Wordsworth Trust, Grasmere 31 January 2006 ISBN 978-1-905256-03-7
  • Jean-Paul Martinon; Hamish Robinson; Daniel Sturgis; Rebecca O'Connor; Robert Woof; Daniel Buren: At the Wordsworth Trust, Wordsworth Trust, Grasmere September, 2005 ISBN 978-1-905256-01-3
  • Keith Coventry; Des Lawrence; Matthew Hollis; Joan Key; Kay Rosen; Lily van der Stokker; Daniel Sturgis; Robert Woof; Between Letters and Abstraction, Wordsworth Trust, Grasmere January, 2005 ISBN 978-1-870787-97-0
  • Christopher Bucklow; Marina Warner; Roger Malbert; Adam Phillips; Robert Woof; If This Be Not I, Wordsworth Trust, Grasmere June, 2003 ISBN 978-1-870787-95-6
  • Robert Woof; English poetry 850-1850: The first thousand years : with some romantic perspectives, Wordsworth Trust, Grasmere 2000 ISBN 978-1-870787-70-3
  • Robert Woof; Stephen Hebron; Towards Tintern Abbey: Bicentenary of "Lyrical Ballads", 1798, The Wordsworth Trust, Grasmere July, 1998 ISBN 978-1-870787-55-0
  • Robert Woof; Tennyson, 1809-1892: A Centenary Celebration, Tennyson Society, July, 1992 ISBN 978-0-901958-30-3
  • Robert Woof; Artist as Evacuee: Royal College of Art in the Lake District 1940-1945, Wordsworth Trust, Grasmere December, 1987 ISBN 978-0-9510616-3-3
  • Wordsworth, Jonathan; Jaye, Michael C., Robert Woof; William Wordsworth and the Age of English Romanticism, Rutgers Univ Pr, Piscataway, New Jersey, U.S.A., 1987 ISBN 978-0-8135-1274-7
  • Robert Woof; John Murdoch; The Discovery of the Lake District: A Northern Arcadia and Its Uses, Faber & Faber, October 1986 ISBN 978-0-905209-96-8
  • David Thomason, Robert Woof; Derwentwater - The Vale of Elysiums: An Eighteenth Century Story, Wordsworth Trust, Grasmere December, 1986 ISBN 978-0-9510616-2-6
  • Robert Woof; Wordsworth Circle: Studies of Twelve Members of Wordsworth's Circle of Friends, Trustees of Dove Cottage, Grasmere July, 1979 ISBN 978-0-9501238-4-4


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