The Grasmere Journals | Study Guide

Dorothy Wordsworth

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The Grasmere Journals | Key Figures

Key Figure Description
Dorothy Dorothy Wordsworth is an educated, thoughtful young woman who adores nature and her older brother William. She records her observations about their life in Dove Cottage and the surrounding countryside. Read More
William William Wordsworth is an introspective, romantic poet. He works hard to hone his craft, with the help of his sister, and makes a name for himself. Read More
Coleridge Samuel Taylor Coleridge is a charismatic, idealistic poet whose failing health, unhappy marriage, and lack of focus impairs his work. Read More
Mary Mary Hutchinson is a cheerful, down-to-earth woman, happy to pitch in with chores even as a visitor. She weds William and accepts her husband's close relationship with his sister and her friend, Dorothy. Read More
Annette Annette is a Frenchwoman who had an affair and child with William Wordsworth. She keeps on good terms with both William and Dorothy.
Ludovico Ariosto Ludovico Ariosto (1474–1533) is an Italian poet.
Barefoot toddler The barefoot toddler arrives at the Wordsworths' doorstep with the tall beggar woman to ask for assistance.
Basil Basil Montagu is a friend of William Wordsworth's from their years at Cambridge. After Basil lost his wife, he employed Dorothy to look after his young son, also named Basil.
Beggar woman from Manchester The beggar woman from Manchester is a poor woman who has buried her husband and children. She comes to Dove Cottage to ask for help.
Beggar woman and son This beggar comes to Dove Cottage with her son, who reminds Dorothy of Basil Montagu. The woman asks the Wordsworths for rags for her husband's injured leg.
Blind man The blind man is a neighbor who sells plants that he grew to Dorothy to plant in her garden.
Caroline Caroline is William's daughter from his affair with the Frenchwoman Annette. Caroline has not seen William for most of her life until he visits when she is nine years old.
Carpet man Grundy the carpet man is a tradesman who does a service for the Wordsworths.
Isaac Chapel Isaac Chapel is a sailor who has had many adventures at sea and in America.
Chaucer Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1343–1400) is an English poet best known for his poetic work The Canterbury Tales, written in 1387–1400.
Children of the tall beggar woman The unnamed children of the tall beggar woman look so much like their mother that Dorothy recognizes them immediately even though they claim their mother is dead.
The Clarksons The Clarksons are friends of the Wordsworths who live in nearby in Eusemere.
Sara Coleridge Sara Coleridge is Samuel Taylor Coleridge's wife. She is a woman who has to put up with an unhappy and often absent husband while looking after their children.
Mr. Cookson Mr. William Cookson is Dorothy's uncle, with whom she lived for several years before she was able to make a home with her brother William.
Derwent Derwent Coleridge is the young son of Sara and Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
Sara Hutchinson Sara Hutchinson is Mary Hutchinson's sister. She is a nice young woman who is friends with the Wordsworths.
John John Wordsworth is Dorothy and William's younger brother. He is a sailor and lives for a time with his siblings at Dove Cottage, planting its orchard.
Charles Lamb Charles Lamb (1775–1834) is a British writer and friend of William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
Leech gatherer The leech gatherer is the old man bent over with age who William and Dorothy encounter on a walk. He is forced to beg because leeches are scarce. He later becomes the subject of one of William's poems.
Molly Molly Fisher is a servant in the Wordsworths' home who works alongside Dorothy doing domestic tasks.
Basil Montagu Basil Montagu is the three-year-old motherless boy who Dorothy and William once took in. His father is a friend of William's.
Mrs. Nicholson Mrs. Nicholson is a neighbor of the Wordsworths in Grasmere who joins Dorothy for an evening walk.
Priest The priest in Grasmere receives Dorothy's disapproval for being half drunk the day before performing a funeral for a poor woman.
Sally Sally Ashburner is a young neighbor of the Wordsworths and a student of Dorothy's.
Mr. and Mrs. Simpson Mr. and Mrs. Simpson are neighbors of the Wordsworths in Grasmere who Dorothy visits and dines with often.
Tall beggar woman The tall beggar woman comes to the Wordsworths' home and asks Dorothy for help. Later, she becomes the subject of one of William's poems.
"Aunt" Threlkeld "Aunt" Threlkeld is a female relative of Dorothy's, with whom she lived with for much of her childhood.
Frances Wilson Frances Wilson is a 20th-century author. Her biography The Ballad of Dorothy Wordsworth: A Life (2009) focuses on the journals Dorothy wrote at Grasmere.
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