“Excursion Up Scawfell Pike”: 1818 Manuscript

Two weeks after her pioneering ascent of Scawfell Pike, England’s highest mountain, in October 1818, Dorothy Wordsworth described her experience in a letter to her friend, Rev. William Johnson. That letter was later copied and sent among her circle of friends. One copy of that original letter, shown below, is now known as the Kenyon Transcript. Even though her narrative was never printed under her own name during her own lifetime, it was circulated amongst a surprising number of her friends, family, and acquaintances. The Kenyon Transcript shows that Dorothy did write for an audience, and was, in a sense, a published author.

 

Image courtesy The Wordsworth Trust

Contributed by Sarah Safsten