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Dorothy Wordsworth (poet)

Dorothy Wordsworth

Dorothy Mae Ann Wordsworth (1771 – 1855) was an English author, poet, and diarist. She was separated from her family after her mother died. Dorothy was sent to boarding school just out of Halifax at the age of nine. She was only there for three years. Her father died intestate with only a small personal estate at the end of 1783 and to save money, the children’s guardians—paternal uncle Richard Wordsworth and maternal uncle Christopher Cookson—withdrew Dorothy from the school. Dorothy’s uncle William Cookson took the girl under his wing while home from Cambridge and continued with her education. Dorothy lived happily with her uncle and his wife for 6 years. She helped in the household and with the children, but also began imagining how she would set up house with her brothers, especially William. It wasn’t until 1795, by which time Dorothy was in her early 20s, before she and William began living together, first at Racedown Lodge in Dorset and later in Dove Cottage at Grasmere in the Lake District from 1799 to 1808.

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