Journals of Dorothy Wordsworth - Vol. 1

Journals of Dorothy Wordsworth - Vol. 1

Journals of Dorothy Wordsworth - Vol. 1

Journals of Dorothy Wordsworth - Vol. 1

Excerpt

Dorothy Wordsworth is probably the most remarkable and the most distinguished of English writers who never wrote a line for the general public. "I should detest", she said, "the idea of setting myself up as an author"; and throughout her life, though a pen was often in her hand, and her unique literary gift was fully recognised by a wide circle of friends, among them the finest critics of the age, her only compositions to be printed were short extracts from her journals and letters which her brother quoted in notes to his poems, or rehandled for insertion in his Guide to the Lakes. Her Recollections of a Tour made in Scotland (1803) remained in manuscript for seventy years after she wrote it, and it was not till 1897 that Professor Knight's well-known selection from her Journals made its appearance. Since that time interest has steadily grown in her fascinating personality and in the writings that so faithfully reflect it, and she has to-day countless enthusiastic admirers who would gladly possess a greater body of her work than has hitherto been available. To meet that desire these volumes have been prepared.

Their contents, with the exception of the Journal written at Alfoxden, which is given from the text of Professor Knight, are printed from the manuscripts formerly in the possession of Mr. Gordon Wordsworth, and presented by him, shortly before his death, to the Wordsworth Museum at Grasmere. The manuscript of the Alfoxden Journal has been entirely lost sight of, and all attempts to trace its whereabouts have so far proved unavailing. This is peculiarly unfortunate, for though the passages omitted from the published text may be comparatively unimportant, it covers a vital epoch in the lives of the poet, his sister, and Coleridge, of which we would welcome the fullest details.

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