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21.05.2019

The ‘Rock of Names’

by Ian O. Brodie Behind and above the Museum at William Wordsworth’s Grasmere home, Dove Cottage, we find the celebrated, perhaps even infamous, Rock of Names, also known as ‘Sara’s Rock’. This reconstructed slab of a Lakeland volcanic outcrop used to be found, in situ, around half-way between the homes of the Wordsworths in Grasmere […]

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30.03.2019

A wander through Wordsworth’s ‘Christabel’ notebook

by Rachael Tarrant   A jade-coloured rectangular box is laid delicately and ceremoniously on the table; hidden inside lies another treasure of the Wordsworth Trust. Our little group – enthused students of Romanticism – have already been shown a first-edition copy of the Lyrical Ballads – ‘shown’ because the book is considered so valuable as […]

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28.06.2018

Re-imagining the Wordsworths III: A host of daffodils, a host of words

by Lucy Stone   ‘It feels as if you’re, when you speak it, as if you’re dancing and swaying in the wind, as if the daffodils were’, one year ten pupil from Keswick School observed, when asked how she felt reading I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud for the sound project Re-Imagining the Wordsworths, a collaboration […]

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01.05.2018

Spring shoots and green peas: the Wordsworths and their kitchen garden

by Gareth Evans Following six months of settled living with his sister Dorothy, one May morning William Wordsworth left Dove Cottage with his brother John to walk through Yorkshire.  Separated from her brothers in early childhood only to be permanently reunited as adults, an understandably emotional Dorothy found ways of coping with what was clearly […]

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03.04.2018

Reimagining the Wordsworths II: Poetry and Diaries

by Hannah Piercy   The 5th June 2017 was not so much ‘a fine showery morning’, as Dorothy Wordsworth says of the 5th June 1802 in her diaries, but one of those days when being outside for a few minutes can get you soaked to the bone – so a typical rainy day in the […]

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19.03.2018

Wordsworth and old age

by Fred Blick   Aging is intrinsic to Wordsworth’s poetry. He declared in 1800, in his Preface to the second edition of Lyrical Ballads, ‘I have said that poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquillity’. Recollection inevitably involves aging. It follows that recollection in general, […]

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24.02.2018

The 2018 Wordsworth birthday poem competition

If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you’ll know we run a poetry competition for Wordsworth’s birthday every year. You can read the winning poems from 2017 here. This year’s theme is ‘The child is father of the man’ – a reference to the famous phrase in Wordsworth’s poem ‘My heart leaps up’, […]

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06.12.2017

Wordsworth’'s poem 'The Primrose of the Rock': From Pythagoras and Pantheism to Christianity

by Fred Blick   Wordsworth’s contemplation of the primrose, as seen in ‘The Primrose of the Rock’ of 1831/5, illustrates the development of his spiritual beliefs concerning death and renewal. The poem reveals a change from a playing with the idea of continuity by Pythagorean transmigration of the soul to a conventional belief in orthodox, […]

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