Notes on Dorothy Wordsworth

Grasmere Journals

  • shocking this writing was just for personal consumption between her and William Wordsworth
  • aware and compassionate of the disenfranchised
    • takes the time to talk to, help, write about them
    • quite remarkable for the time
  • cares about the individual, the specific
    • she shapes William’s poetry – he relies so heavily on her notes she’s able to shape his perspective
      • often he even borrowed her phrasing/specific words
      • intellectual collaboration
  • very un-self-conscious writing
    • feels connected and present despite the necessary removal involved in journal writing
    • unconcerned with the “appropriate,” more concerned with the reality
  • memory
    • William’s “recollections” seem less impressive, given that he wasn’t actually recollecting but going over his sister’s notes
    • shows how present Dorothy was given that she could write these journals with such detail
  • Dorothy and William’s relationship romantic?
    • perhaps (or not) on Dorothy’s side
    • passage on William’s wedding is odd, Dorothy putting on the wedding ring, William’s actions
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