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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 December 2007, 09:39 GMT
McKellen records Wordsworth verse
Sir Ian McKellen
Sir Ian recorded the poem in 2006
Lord of The Rings actor Sir Ian McKellen has recorded a selection of passages from one of Wordsworth's best-known works for a Cumbria charity.

The Shakespearean actor - best known for playing Gandalf in the Tolkien film trilogy - recorded sections of The Prelude for the Wordsworth Trust.

The recording, made at Wordsworth's former home Dove Cottage in Grasmere, is being released on a new CD.

Director David Wilson said the trust was delighted with Sir Ian's work.

'Distinct differences'

The recording is taken from a reading of the whole poem by Sir Ian in 2006 at Dove Cottage, which was Wordsworth's home from 1799 to 1808.

The Prelude was written between 1798 and 1805, when Wordsworth was able to declare the poem - then in 13 books - completed.

The text, which was not published until after the poet's death in 1850, had been subjected to intensive revision by Wordsworth as he grew older and matured.

Mr Wilson, the Robert Woof director of the trust, said: "Ian was asked to read from the 1805 version of the poem, in its first finished state.

"This has some distinct differences from the poem as it was published after Wordsworth's death.

"Ian is a great supporter of our work and he is also a very fine reader of poetry."

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