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Introduction to Dorothy's Grasmere Journal

In this video, Sharon Ruston and Jeff Cowton introduce the journals written by Dorothy Wordsworth in Grasmere between 1800 and 1803.

Dorothy Wordsworth wrote a journal in Grasmere between 1800 and 1803. In it she records her and William’s life in Dove Cottage, their home. She also writes about the natural world, the people she meets and those who live in the village, and about William’s poetry.

In this video, Professor Sharon Ruston joins Jeff Cowton MBE, the Curator of the Wordsworth Trust, to look at the journals themselves, which are held in the Jerwood Centre. You’ll get to see Dorothy’s handwriting, the notebooks in which she wrote the journal, and gain some sense of her writing process.

Do you keep a journal or diary yourself? Did you when you were younger? What is the purpose of this kind of writing?

If you’d like to read the whole journal, the best version is the Oxford World Classics’ edition, which is edited by Pamela Woof, The Grasmere and Alfoxden Journals (Oxford University Press, 2008).

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William Wordsworth: Poetry, People and Place

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