Famed poet William Wordsworth
's younger sister, Dorothy Wordsworth
(1771-1855), is known principally for her poem
s and journals
, which have proved invaluable for later biographies and studies of the poet.
Dorothy began to write around 1795, when she shared a house with William in Dorset
. Several of Dorothy
's poems were included in her brother
's publications; she herself publish
ed nothing. Her journals, the most well-known of which are the Alfoxden Journal
(1798) and Grasmere Journals
(1800-1803), were published posthumous
ly. These journals were written with Dorothy's delicate, exquisite diction, describing the Wordsworth
household, friends, and travels.
The Alfoxden Journal
was written in Alfoxden
, where she met poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge
. They and her brother William
traveled in Germany
together and were continually sources of inspiration for each other in their writings.
In 1799, Dorothy settled with William
in the Lake District
at Dove Cottage
, where she wrote her Grasmere Journals
. Also, she made the acquaintance of writer Thomas DeQuincey
there in 1807. In 1808, she moved back to Rydal
and lived with her family.
In 1829, Dorothy
became ill, and in 1835 she developed arteriosclerosis. For the last 20 years of her life
, Dorothy suffered from an obscure illness
that made her prematurely senile
. She died in Rydal
on January 25, 1855.