Exploring Home: The People who Shared It

John Wordsworth: "A Stranger whom we love"

John was William and Dorothy’s closest brother, in age and temperament, who was staying with them when this piece of poetry was written. John was a sailor at home on leave just at the time they moved into Dove Cottage. He stayed with them during their early months there, before going off to sea again. In February, 1805, tragedy struck when his ship The Earl of Abergavenny was wrecked in a storm. John drowned and the Wordsworth family were devastated.

Mary, Sara and Joanna Hutchinson: "Sisters of our hearts"

The Hutchinson sisters had been friends of the Wordsworth family for many years. They went to the "dame" school together as children in Cockermouth. Mary and Sara visited William and Dorothy at Dove Cottage shortly after this piece of poetry was written. In October, 1802, Mary Hutchinson married William and became Mrs Wordsworth.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge: "A Brother of our hearts"

Wordsworth first met Coleridge in 1795 and they soon became firm friends. Together they wrote the poems published asLyrical Ballads in 1798. In 1799 they both travelled in Germany and when Wordsworth and Dorothy, settled in the Lakes, Coleridge soon followed them. In June, 1800, he moved to Keswick and became a regular visitor.