Dorothy WordsworthDorothy Wordsworth
English Writer
1771 – 1855 A.D.

Dorothy Wordsworth, an English writer, sister to the poet William Wordsworth. In 1794 they determined that it would be best to combine their small capitals and that Dorothy should keep house for the poet. From this time forth her life ran on lines closely parallel to those of her great brother, whose companion she continued to be till his death. Her principal writings are her invaluable Journal of Wordsworths’ Life at Grasmere, and her Recollections of a Tour in Scotland.

She had a serious illness in 1829, and after 1836 was not considered to be entirely in possession of her mental faculties. Edmond Gosse says:

“It would be difficult to exaggerate the importance of Dorothy Wordsworth’s companionship to her illustrious brother. He has left numerous tributes to it, and to the sympathetic originality of her perceptions. When Wordsworth and Coleridge refashioned imaginative literature at the close of the eighteenth century, they were daily and hourly accompanied by a feminine presence exquisitely attuned to sympathize with their efforts, and by an intelligence which was able and anxious to move in step with theirs.”

“S.T.C. and my beloved sister,” William Wordsworth wrote in 1832, “are the two things to whom my intellect is most indebted.”

It is not merely by the biographical value of her notes that Dorothy Wordsworth lives. She claims an independent place in the history of English prose as one of the very earliest writers who noted, in language delicately chosen, and with no other object than to preserve their fugitive beauty, the little picturesque phenomena of homely country life.


Reference: Famous Women; An Outline of Feminine Achievement Through the Ages With Life Stories of Five Hundred Noted Women By Joseph Adelman. Copyright, 1926 by Ellis M. Lonow Company.

Quote by Dorothy Wordsworth