The Grasmere and Alfoxden Journals Characters

The Grasmere and Alfoxden Journals Character List

Dorothy Wordsworth

As the author and chronologer, Dorothy dutifully records the events of her life while staying at Alfoxden and Grasmere. She reveals little about her interior world, but she relates specific details about her and her brother's various activities. She's thorough and meticulous in describing the various flora and fauna which surround their home, as well as relating the intimacies of the life stories of the various people which she meets during this period. Through Dorothy's narration, her passionate love for her brother becomes evident. He is her cornerstone, so his departure upon marrying Hutchinson proves devastating for Dorothy.

William Wordsworth

The great poet himself is Dorothy's brother. She calls him "my beloved." He invites her to live with him at Alfoxden and Grasmere when she is twenty-one. During this period, he writes some of his poems, which corresponds to specific entries in Dorothy's journal. He's a patient and loving provider, but William appears to remain oblivious as to Dorothy's mental suffering. When he becomes engaged, he gradually breaks away from his former intimacy with his sister. By the end of the journal, he is merely a byline. His departure marks the certain end of Dorothy's journals.

Mary Hutchinson

She is the childhood friend of the Wordsworths. She marries William near the end of Dorothy's journals. Although she is kind to Dorothy, she represents a threat to the sister whose way of life depends upon her brother's generosity and devotion.

The Leech Gatherer

This man is the subject of William's poem "Resolution and Independence." In Dorothy's recording, he is a friendly wanderer who stops to tell them his story. He's the father of ten children, nine of whom have died already. He's a man of great sorrow.

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