William Wordsworth 1770-1820 – Itinerary Poems of 1833
The poetry of William Wordsworth, and the surviving journals of his sister Dorothy, are important literary legacies, but hidden amongst them are details of two visits to the Isle of Man and a number of interesting links to local people.
It was Dorothy who first sailed to the Island from Whitehaven in 1828 – her final journey before decline into ill health. Her original manuscript (also containing other material) faded and scattered with corrections, comprises two small notebooks held at the Jerwood Centre of the Wordsworth Trust in Grasmere.
William, however, only spent four days on the Island during July 1833, as part of his journey to the Scottish islands with his eldest son John and old friend Henry Crabb Robinson. He was urged to visit the Isle of Man by Dorothy, who furnished him with details of where to visit and avoid. Indeed, it is said that the Reverend Robert Brown (father of the Manx poet T. E. Brown) implored Dorothy to persuade her brother to visit the Island – exclaiming it to be ‘a national honour’. He later received a signed copy of William Wordsworth’s collected poems and it is known that a volume of Reverend Brown’s own works was in William’s collection.