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William and Dorothy Wordsworth: All in Each Other

Wednesday 26 March 2014

1 Hour


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Brother and sister William and Dorothy Wordsworth enjoyed a close collaboration for almost 50 years, so much so that it even led to rumours of incest. Professor Lucy Newlyn says their cohabitation was more the expression of a deep emotional need that arose out of their family history. The two were parted on the death of their mother and grew up separately, only being reunited on the death of their father. Newlyn argues that their work was partly about re-building their family and re-claiming their communal identity.

Newlyn is professor of English language and literature at the University of Oxford and has published widely on English romantic literature. Reading Writing and Romanticism: The Anxiety of Reception won the British Academy’s Rose Mary Crawshay prize.