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Elizabeth A.Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Dorothy Wordsworth

b. 1771, Cockermouth, Cumberland, England; d. 1855, Rydal Mount, Westmoreland, England

Overshadowed during her life by her brother, poet William Wordsworth, Dorothy Wordsworth’s writings were not discovered until 1931, by writer Beatrix Potter. Her journals, including Alfoxden Journal of 1798 and the Grasmere Journals of 1800–1803, reveal both a flair for delicate prose—often reflections on the beauty found in nature—and her profound influence upon her brother. Despite her literary talents, Wordsworth had little interest in becoming a professional or published author and instead focused her efforts on supporting others. The twentieth-century publication of her journals and letters, however, has secured her a place in the English Romantic movement.