Dorothy Wordsworth

2021 is the 250th Anniversary of the birth of Dorothy Wordsworth, and to celebrate we enjoyed a talk at Tullie House in Carlisle, as part of the Borderlines Festival. Dr Penny Bradshaw led the discussion about Dorothy's life with Dr Polly Atken discussing her new book about Dorothy. Penny was with us in Carlisle and Polly joined us by a Zoom link. It's amazing how resourceful everyone is now, so that events can go ahead.

It was so fabulous to be back at Borderlines, after missing last year's altogether. Before the event, we enjoyed a mooch around the Bookcase, an excellent new and second hand bookshop in Carlisle and then we explored Carlisle Cathedral and some of Carlisle's Roman walls.

Polly's book about Dorothy - Recovering Dorothy: The Hidden Life of Dorothy Wordsworth will be published in November and explores a Dorothy that we don't know. A Dorothy who is unwell, an invalid and housebound. This is the Dorothy of the unpublished journals, rather than the Dorothy of the Rydal Journals. This is the Dorothy with a pet robin and who writes poetry, and makes a garden in her bedroom.

It was fascinating to explore this totally unknown Dorothy, especially as a celebration of 250 years since her birth. Polly and Penny both read selections from Dorothy's journals, as well as some of William's poems which were influenced by Dorothy's insights into the natural world.

We brought a lovely day to a close with a meal at Franco's. Penny joined us and we continued our chat about the Wordsworth and how much Dorothy means to us. The food was fantastic, pizza with dolcelatte cheese - simply delicious. Chris has offered to drive home, so a couple of cocktails completed a wonderful day!