Rent A Cottage In Scotland

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Recollections of a Tour Made in Scotland

On a 663-mile journey through the Scottish Lowlands and southwestern Highlands in the late summer and early autumn of 1803, Dorothy Wordsworth kept a journal. Travelling with her brother William and, for a short time, Samuel Coleridge, she recorded the adventures, sights and landscape of their trip. Her journal returns to print in this volume that provides black-and-white photographs of the Scottish scenes described. Carol Kyros Walker has captured these places in a photographic essay that follows each week of Wordsworth's journal entries. Walker also contributes an introduction to locate events of the journey within their historical setting and to explain the significance of this trip for the three participants; a discussion of Dorothy Wordsworth's skills as a writer; extensive notes to clarify her many allusions; and a map of the itinerary. Travelling in an eccentric Irish jaunting car - a rudimentary horse drawn vehicle - the Wordsworth party encountered assorted strangers and a wild countryside. Wordsworth presents a series of vignettes - a brutish ferryman beats her horse; solicitous Highland girls laugh as they choose dry clothes for her and her brother writes a poem about them; and a hermit's cell near Killin, with its moss decorations, stuffed foxes and wooden books covered with leather, fills her with wonder. Samuel Rogers and Walter Scott are alive in these pages and mix of historical figures also appears, including Rob Roy, William Wallace, Robert the Bruce and Robert Burns. Dorothy even incorporates early versions of her brother's poems in order to enhance own descriptions. Recollections of a Tour Made in Scotland.

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