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24 November 1801

Listen to Dr Jenn Ashworth of Lancaster University read from Dorothy Wordsworth's journal entry for 24 November 1801.

In this step, you can listen to novelist and academic, Dr Jenn Ashworth read Dorothy’s journal entry for 24 November 1801 aloud, while following Dorothy’s handwriting. If this is too difficult to read, there is a transcript attached that you can read instead or as well as this.

Dorothy here describes a cold winter’s day and the effect of the weather on the trees outside. When she gets home again, she sends Peggy Ashburner some goose, and Peggy sends her back some honey. This motivates Dorothy to go to see Peggy in person and they talk about people they know and their lives. They refer to Thomas, Peggy’s husband. Their cottage was almost opposite Dove Cottage. At the end of the entry, Dorothy recalls an earlier incident from a few days ago.

While you’re listening to and/or reading this journal entry, think about Dorothy’s response to the natural world.

  • What does it tell you about her? Why does she feel impelled to go to see Peggy?
  • What does Peggy’s tale tell you about life in those times and in the Lake District particularly?

A short quiz follows the reading.

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William Wordsworth: Poetry, People and Place

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