Biography

Dorothy Wordsworth Revealed

Little is known about Dorothy Wordsworth (1771-1855), that famous “Victorian Virgin” who never wrote a line of prose for the general public. Biographers have speculated widely about her private life, suggesting that she'd even had an affair with her brother, William. In a new book, The Ballad of Dorothy Wordsworth, Frances Wilson makes the wise decision to focus narrowly on the years between 1800 and 1803, when Dorothy kept her famous Grasmere Journals. And the product is focused and through. A New York Times review says the book “strides purposefully through Wordsworth’s intoxicating life, quibbling when needed with earlier biographers, poking into every bit of tangled brush.”