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I've wanted to visit England's Lake District since my university days, when I took a course in Romantic Poetry. The Lake Poets, my professor said, turned to nature as a reaction against the country's industrialization, not unlike the hippies of our time. No poet was more associated with the bucolic lakes than William Wordsworth, who was born in the region, travelled away for awhile and returned to marry and live the rest of his long life. Last spring I learned why he loved The Lake District so much when I spent a week there.
|A walk near Grasmere - in The Lake District everywhere you look is a picture|
|Dove Cottage, where we learned that during his lifetime Wordsworth was always referred to by his first name|
|William's funny cuckoo clock|
|William built a terrace in the garden behind Dove Cottage to get a view of the lake, now obscured by houses and trees.|
|I liked that the living room looks lived-in|
|Rydal Mount grounds|
Rydal Mount's huge garden looks much as it did in William's time. William often said the grounds were more his 'writing room' than his office in the house. He was known to recite his poems aloud while revising them and often did this on his solitary walks through the countryside. William was born before the invention of trains and wasn't rich enough to own a horse and carriage. He thought nothing of walking five hours to the northern Lake District town of Keswick, to visit his friend and fellow Romantic poet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
Writing, walking, wandering through gardens. What a wonderful lifestyle.
|Willam's and his wife's grave in Grasmere lies next to that of his sister Dorothy, who lived with them and inspired many of his poems. Dorothy's diaries reveal that she could almost be credited with composing the first draft of 'Daffodils.'|
|We were too late in the season for William's daffodils, but we walked past fields of bluebells.|