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William Wordsworth, Dorothy Wordsworth

The Letters of William and Dorothy Wordsworth, Vol. 7: The Later Years: Part IV: 1840–1853 (Second Revised Edition)

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pg 8952101. W. W. to THE EIGHTH DUKE OF ARGYLL1

  • MS. The Duke of Argyll. Hitherto unpublished.

  • Rydal Mount
  • 5th April 1849.

My dear Lord Duke,

I have transcribed with much pleasure the Sonnet according to your Grace's wishes,2 and feel myself not a little honored by the Duchess requesting such a memorial of me, which perhaps her Grace may value more, as having been composed, extempore, and upon being told that the Transcriber was on the point of entering the eightieth year of his age.

Mrs Wordsworth and I are gratified by the expression of your wish, that we should visit you, a pleasure which at our age we dare scarcely calculate upon.

Begging you and the Duchess to accept our best wish. I have the honor to be

  • my dear Duke        
  • faithfully yours    
  • William Wordsworth

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Editor’s Note
1 George Douglas Campbell, 8th Duke of Argyll (1823–1900), of Inveraray Castle, politician and scientist: Lord Privy Seal under Aberdeen and Palmerston, and Secretary for India under Gladstone (1868): author of Presbytery Examined: An Essay, critical and historical, on the Ecclesiastical History of Scotland since the Reformation, 1848. He married (1844) Lady Elizabeth Leveson-Gower (d. 1878), eldest daughter of the 2nd Duke of Sutherland (see pt. iii, L. 1131), whom W. W. already knew from his visits to Stafford House in London, and the couple visited Rydal Mount in Sept. 1848. 'We have long wished for this pleasure, and it will be a great one …', the Duchess of Argyll had written from Trentham on 1 Sept.; and a week later the Duke sent his old tutor J. S. Howson, afterwards Dean of Chester, an account of their meeting with W. W. and D. W. and the poet's moving recitation of Tintern Abbey. The Duke had now written to W. W. on 2 Apr., 1849, recalling their previous visit, and asking for the poet's autograph. (WL MSS.). See also his Autobiography and Memoirs, 2 vols., 1906, edited by his second wife.
Editor’s Note
2 See next letter.
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