I was charmed by Dorothy Wordsworth’s journals, wishing I could reverse time’s arrow to accompany her on a walk to pick up the post. She writes with dew-fresh realism and warmth and I was amazed at how captivating I found the minutiae of her life.
The last few years, I have on and off (more off than on), tried keeping a journal, to capture joyous, touching, arresting moments. Dorothy has reassured me that it is fine to write intermittently, to add a forgotten detail later, to weave back and forth, to be telegrammatic. This is also conveyed by the editor of her journals, Pamela Woof:
‘There are no rules and structures for diary writing, as there are not for living: we take the fast and slow of it as it comes.’
Source: Pamela Woof, introduction to Dorothy Wordsworth, The Grasmere and Alfoxden Journals (Oxford: Oxford World’s Classics, 2008 (2002)), p. ix
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