Exploring the hills around Grasmere on our first day

“RETROSPECT–LOVE OF NATURE LEADING TO LOVE OF MAN […] With deep devotion, Nature, did I feel, In that enormous City’s turbulent world Of men and things, what benefit I owed To thee, and those domains of rural peace, Where to the sense of beauty first my heart Was opened; tract more exquisitely fair Than that…

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…

Reliving Wordsworth’s Schooldays: Colthouse and Hawkshead

Wednesday March 15, 2017: On Wednesday, one of our first excursions was to Anne Tyson’s house, where Wordsworth lived while he was a student at Hawkshead Grammar School. We took a bus—driven by Jeff Cowton, the curator of the Jerwood Centre—from our hotel in Grasmere to Hawkshead. Formerly a National Trust house, Colthouse is now…

“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….