On 3 October, Susan Allen, from the Wordsworth Trust, gave a talk on Dorothy Wordsworth. Susan explained how in the last 30 to 40 years Dorothy has become a person of interest, especially her significance within the Romantic Movement.
Susan concentrated on the 8 years that the Wordsworths lived at Dove cottage and the domestic scene there which included many visitors such as Coleridge, de Quincey and Sir Walter Scott. As the Wordsworths struggled financially, Dorothy alongside William’s wife and daughter, would strive to write out William’s poetry and prose to get it published and bring in money.
Susan quoted from Dorothy’s Grasmere journals which described landscapes, the natural world, long walks and included private thoughts. Her forceful views and opinions came through and she was described as intelligent, impressive and a good listener with both de Quincey and Coleridge using the word ‘ardent’ when talking of her.
Dorothy appeared to be different things to different people. Her writing was clear and lyrical and at a time of great changes in British society, her journals, poems and letters are not only a testament to her own intellect but an insight into the movements and changes around her in that period.
Susan brought many books with her and the large audience asked some intriguing questions