Entering Dove Cottage for the first time

Monday, March 13, 2017: Not typically a very emotional person, I was very surprised that, as I was walking up to the front door of Dove Cottage, I teared up a bit. Dove Cottage is such a special place, a place that William and Dorothy primarily made as a home for themselves and eventually Mary…

Encountering the Collection at the Jerwood Centre

Monday, March 13 2017: Seeing Wordsworth’s own manuscripts, his letters, his library, Dorothy’s journals, and their family members’ and friends’ letters was an absolutely invaluable, one-of-a-kind privilege. We learned safely to remove rare books from shelves, how to handle them, and a bit about preserving them. We could see the unevenness from pages of books having…

Arriving at John’s Grove

Monday, March 13 2017: We walked to the top of the hill next to Dove Cottage, taking in the view and breathing in the fresh air after a long day hard at work looking at manuscripts in the library. Eventually, we arrived at John’s grove and read sections from Wordsworth’s poem, “When to the attractions of…

Reading Dorothy Wordsworth’s Journal in John’s Grove

Monday, March 13 2017: “He thought that it would be as sweet thus to lie so in the grave, to hear the peaceful sounds of the earth & just to know that ones dear friends were near.” Monday afternoon, the group took a nice walk up to John’s grove, expecting to take in the sight…

Reading “Elegiac Stanzas” in Dove Cottage

Monday March 13, 2017: Later that night, Jeff led us to the sitting room, where we listened to Noor’s reading of “Elegiac Stanzas.” She sat in Wordsworth’s very own chair, by Sir George Beaumont’s painting of the Piel Castle, and we stood in the comfort of the candlelight, our silence gently disrupted by the steady…

“Embrace me then, ye Hills, and close me in…”

Embrace me then, ye Hills, and close me in: Now in the clear and open day I feel Your guardianship; I take it to my heart: ‘Tis like the solemn shelter of the night. But I would call thee beautiful thou art Dear Valley, having in thy face a smile Though peaceful, full of gladness….