Shepherds to Char-a-bancs
The Wordsworth Museum
Nov 2015 — 28
Dorothy Wordsworth, William Wordsworth's sister, wrote in her journal almost every day.
We have all the surviving notebooks that made up this journal. In them, we can read about daily life in the Wordsworth household: who came to visit, whose letters were received, who was ill, and which poems Wordsworth was working on.
One of Dorothy Wordsworth's most famous journal entries is the one she made for Thursday 15 April 1802.
The wind was furious... the Lake was rough... When we were in the woods beyond Gowbarrow park we saw a few daffodils close to the water side, we fancied that the lake had floated the seeds ashore & that the little colony had so sprung up -- But as we went along there were more & yet more & at last under the boughs of the trees, we saw that there was a long belt of them along the shore, about the breadth of a country turnpike road. I never saw daffodils so beautiful they grew among the mossy stones about & about them, some rested their heads upon these stones as on a pillow for weariness & the rest tossed & reeled & danced & seemed as if they verily laughed with the wind that blew upon them over the Lake, they looked so gay ever glancing ever changing. This wind blew directly over the lake to them. There was here & there a little knot & a few stragglers a few yards higher up but they were so few as not to disturb the simplicity & unity & life of that one busy highway... -- Rain came on, we were wet.
Find out how Dorothy's journal inspired Wordsworth's most famous poem.
See the journal entry for the day when William and Dorothy saw the famous daffodils.
The Jerwood Centre is where our collection is stored under controlled conditions and cared for. If you would like to be shown around please phone before you arrive to check that someone is available.
Wordsworth enjoyed skating on the frozen lakes of the county in the depths of winter. Two very different pairs of his skates survive and can be seen during your visit.