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Make the most of your visit while attending this event and take a tour of Dove Cottage and gardens.

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Women's Lives Through Letters

Dove Cottage & Garden

06 February 2018
11.00am - 12.00pm

Contact us to book

This event is now SOLD OUT. Please contact us on 015394 35544 if you would like to be added to the waiting list in case of cancellations.

We are very privileged to be able to use the houseplace of Dove Cottage as the Wordsworth family did – as a place to share a cup of tea and slices of toast together, accompanied by lively conversation and an opportunity to learn something new. There are twelve Dove Cottage Tuesdays talks this winter, six in December and six in February, and each discussion will be led by Wordsworth Trust staff on a topic of their choice. This morning Assistant Curator Melissa Mitchell will talk about the insights we can gain from letters written 200 years ago.

‘I entreat you to write to me very, very soon’, so wrote a teenage Dorothy Wordsworth to her dearest friend, Jane Pollard, in 1787. Living with her cold grandparents and separated from her brothers, Dorothy found comfort in writing, and receiving, letters. In the letters that have survived, we have a deep, profound and often moving window into her world. So too can we discover the lives of other women—Dora Wordsworth and Sara Coleridge are but two.

However, when studying the manuscript drafts of Wordsworth’s poetry today, we also often see the words from his mind shaped on paper in Dorothy, Mary or Dora’s hand (sister, wife and daughter to the poet). It is hard not to wonder just how far their involvement extended: did they ever suggest another word, rephrasing of a line, movement of a stanza? It is also possible to consider how the home they built, the world they created and most importantly, their own personalities, emotions and actions shaped the words on the page.  How might things have been different if these women were not in Wordsworth’s life? By exploring their original journals and letters, their own words will help to build a picture of what their lives were like,

As part of the Women behind the Words project, Melissa, Assistant Curator, will share details about the lives of these women through their letters and journals, and explore how they individually and collectively created the world in which the poems were written.

To learn more about the project, please click here:

Or visit the Wordsworth Trust’s YouTube Channel:

Cost: £7 (including tea and toast)

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