I wandered lonely……into the Victoria Gallery and Museum…
……and came upon the ‘Dorothy Wordsworth, Sister, Writer, Friend’ exhibition, exploring the life and works of the little known sister of one of Britain’s most famous poets, William Wordsworth.
With time to spare, before a meeting at one of the universities Brownlow Hill buildings, I wandered into this magnificent museum, passing the café and then mused over the plethora of diaries, journals, personal letters and memorabilia making up this fine exhibition of material on loan from the Wordsworth Museum Grasmere in the Lake District.
The Wordsworth Trust has certainly compiled a vast collection of artefacts, all on loan here, even with a full museum up north catering for the hundreds of foreign visitors who make a pilgrimage to the homestead of this hallowed literary genius.
I was fascinated by the written pieces on display which dated from the 1800’s and I scrutinized the ink, handwritten scripts, noting the language of text and the words, familiar today and some not so.
The letters gave me an insight into her life and her relationship with her better known brother, William whom she showed an uncommonly ‘strong bond’. Was I trying to find some E L James stuff here, yes I was.
This exhibition is her story.
A story that shows her creativity, but one that has been obscured and overshadowed by her brother. He was a leading literary figure and member of the Romantic movement who transformed British poetry. But didn’t they all then, the Romantics, with an emphasis on nature rather than science, its exponents valued individual experience and intuition sharing a belief in idealism. If you ever get the chance to read some of Byron, Keats and Shelly or better still get your hands on some of the BBC romantic period costume dramas depicting these characters then hold onto your …..its lusty wenches, dastardly villains and dashing heroes will bewitch you and give you a compelling urge to read more.
That’s what this exhibition will do, give you a taste of the literate world of the eighteenth century. Then, if this collection of memorabilia grips you, sign up for the Poetry Workshop, 18th March 10.30-12.30 when Poet Eleanor Rees explores the relationship between poetry and prose and then help you write your own poems and prose inspired by Dorothy’s writing.
I’d have loved to have walked into the exhibition room with the sound of twittering birds, skylarks and finches, all in a chorus of mellow fruitfulness….. giving one the atmosphere of a bright summers day,
but perhaps, that’s the romantic in me!.
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