Dorothy Wordsworth, the Early Years

Dorothy Wordsworth, the Early Years

Dorothy Wordsworth, the Early Years

Dorothy Wordsworth, the Early Years

Excerpt

It is a pleasure to me, in publishing this book, to acknowledge very gratefully my debt to those who helped me in my researches on those shadowy early years before Dorothy Wordsworth was closely associated with her brother the poet and his friends. The later years are well known, and abundant material connected with them has been preserved. The letters to Mrs. Clarkson alone, of which the manuscript is in the British Museum, give a full account of the life from day to day at Grasmere, from 1803 onwards. But of the early years little record is left.

I am deeply indebted, for help in filling out the outlines of these early years, to The Rev. T. J. Bentley, Rector of Forncett, and to Miss Millson, of Ilkley, who placed at my disposal manuscript material connected with the Northgate-End Chapel, and who permitted me to see her interesting collection of books, including Wordsworth's own copy of the Poems of 1807, which he had given to Elizabeth Threlkeld the younger.

I am even more deeply indebted to Mr. T. W. Hanson, Vice-President of The Halifax Antiquarian Society, for the extraordinary generosity with which he placed at my disposal his matchless knowledge of the Halifax of the eighteenth century. It was Mr. Hanson who first opened a door for me in what seemed a blank wall, and who helped me step by step until at last I had succeeded in gaining an acquaintance with the friends of Dorothy's girlhood and the streets of Halifax in which she lived and moved.

It is a pleasure to me to acknowledge also, very gratefully, the generous help of Lady Pinney, who gave me recently the opportunity of examining some letters and manuscripts which throw much light on the life of the Wordsworths at Racedown.

Others to whom I am indebted are: Mr. J. W. Houseman, M.A., Headmaster of The Grammar School, Hipperholme; Mr. George H. Fry, Halifax; Mr. H. Crossley, of Sowerby Bridge; Mr. Kenneth Haigh, of The Halifax Library; Mr. Stanley Robinson, of The Sowerby Bridge Library; Mr. Herbert Bell, of The Armitt Library, Ambleside; Mr. E. W. Crossley, President of The Halifax Literary and Philosophical Society, who gave me the opportunity of examining some invaluable manu-

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