Excursion to Wordsworthshire : A Victorian Family in the Lakes


The perfect companion to our current special exhibition ‘To the Lakes!’, this exclusive edition published by the Wordsworth Trust includes a full facsimile of the Johnson family’s original journal, recounting their 1844 visit to the Lake District to follow in Wordsworth’s footsteps (and even glimpse the poet himself), at the conjunction of railway tourism and William Wordsworth’s full renown as poet laureate. With a full facsimile of the journal and sketches held exclusively in our collection, it includes a transcription, introductory essay and commentary by scholar Cecilia Powell, and a reproduction of the map from Wordsworth’s Guide used by the Johnsons.

Early in the railway age, William Wordsworth mused wistfully in a letter from London to his family in the north, ‘O that there was a railway to take me to Kendal or Lancaster or Preston’. On an August day eight years later, after the ‘iron road’ had reached many parts of England, the Johnson family from Essex caught a train at Euston station and, within little more than twenty-four hours, were gazing in rapture at their first view of mountain scenery. The illustrated record of their 1844 sojourn in the Lake District, now in the Wordsworth Trust collection, contains an engaging account of their adventures, often enriched by their use of Wordsworth’s own Guide to the Lakes and enlivened by unique glimpses of the poet himself and members of his family.

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Excursion to Wordsworthshire: A Victorian Family in the Lakes (hardback)

Edited with an introduction by Cecilia Powell

Publisher: The Wordsworth Trust
ISBN: 9781905256488
Number of pages: 209
Weight: TBC
Date of publication: 2015


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Wordsworth Grasmere

Nestled away in a beautiful historic hamlet in Grasmere sits Dove Cottage, home of the great English poet William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy. The Cottage transports visitors back to the early 1800s, where Wordsworth wrote many of his greatest poems and his sister Dorothy kept her Grasmere journal. Open during winter Tuesday - Saturday, 10.00am – 4.00pm (last entry 3.20pm). Every purchase supports our work connecting people, communities and poetry. Book your visit on our website: wordsworth.org.uk

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