See Dorothy's actual notebooks when you visit the Wordsworth museum

The daffodils by the shore of Ullswater that Dorothy wrote about, later inspired Wordsoerth's most famous poem

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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.

Visit our shop to buy the latest edition of the Grasmere Journals with the full text written by Dorothy at Dove Cottage between 1800-1803

Visit the Wordsworth Museum to see Dorothy's actual notebooks.


What's on

Exhibition: Wordsworth, War & Waterloo

The Wordsworth Museum
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Exhibition 16
Mar 2015
Nov 2015

The Stepping Westward Poetry Group: 'Poems' of 1807

Jerwood Centre
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Events for students 13
Oct 2015

The Wordsworths, Abolition and Black History: Campaigning Then, Campaigning Now

Jerwood Centre
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Events for students 20
Oct 2015

Must-see when you visit

Dorothy's amazing journal

See the journal entry for the day when William and Dorothy saw the famous daffodils.

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The Jerwood Centre

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.

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Wordsworth's skates

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.

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Copyright: The Wordsworth Trust

Dove Cottage, Grasmere, Cumbria, LA22 9SH
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