Dorothy Wordsworth, by Robert Gittings and Jo Manton, hardcover (very good condition)


Critics and biographers have too often regarded Dorothy Wordsworth as a mere adjunct to her brother William, or to their mutual friend Samuel Coleridge. The importance of her famous Journals and other writings, it is usually assumed, lies in what they tell us of those poets and their work. This thoughtful, compelling biography is the first book to treat Dorothy Wordsworth as a person in her own right.


Drawing on the Journals, her newly re-edited Letters, and later diary material not yet published, the authors give us a portait of a woman more strange yet touchingly human than any previous account has offered. Their interest in her does not stop at the "literary" but goes deeper to explore other facets of her character. They focus especially on her intense familial and domestic devotion, showing us how, from early childhood, she extended her warmth and selflessness to anyone who seemed to need her--a trait that tells us much about her particular intimate attachment to her brother. The book fully explores her relationship with William--their life in the Lake District, their travels together, her influence on how he came to view nature--and also examines the effects upon Dorothy of a changing social and political climate. It delves into her problems, weaknesses, and contradictions and illuminates the nature of her tragic nervous breakdown, which virtually incapacitated her for the last 25 years of her life.

As a revealing picture of a woman of the early nineteenth century, Dorothy Wordsworth has an appeal extending well beyond just those readers interested in the Romantic Period.

About the Author:

Robert Gittings has written acclaimed biographies of Keats and Hardy. Jo Manton is the author of Elizabeth Barrett Anderson and Sister Dora. Husband and wife, they have previously collaborated on The Story of John Keats and The Second Mrs. Hardy.  

Dorothy Wordsworth

SKU: 16-147