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The Poets' Daughters: Dora Wordsworth and Sara Coleridge

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  43 ratings  ·  9 reviews
‘You are the best poetry he ever produced: a bright spark out of two flints.’

Dora Wordsworth and Sara Coleridge, were life-long friends. They were also the daughters of best friends: William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the two poetic geniuses who shaped the Romantic Age.

Living in the shadow of their fathers’ extraordinary fame brought Sara and Dora great privil
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Hardcover, 416 pages
Published August 29th 2013 by Hutchinson
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Sophie
Jul 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I haven't read many biographies before (if any) but I think that could all be about to change. This book was fascinating! It brings these two women's stories brilliantly to life once again. At points I felt vividly connected to Sara and Dora even with 100+ years separating us. This book is rich and intriguing and I loved the many notes giving origins of specific information.

I was a fan of Wordsworth's poetry going into this and I loved gathering more context on his life and relationships. Learni
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Penny
Oct 17, 2013 rated it liked it

Very enjoyable, especially for a first book.
Some glaring date errors in the family trees at the start of the book (they even get William Wordsworth's date of birth wrong by 10 years which is inexcusable) but hopefully these mistakes will be rectified in further editions.
Would have liked more illustrations especially of Dora and Sarah. And a few less flights of fancy from the author too about scenes and events which she can only guess at.

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Carol Sill
May 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful to read the double-biography of these two daughters of romantic poets - with such amazing details of their lives. The cover says it all - the daffodil for Wordsworth and the poppy for Coleridge. Thanks to the meticulous scholarship of Katie Waldegrave we discover intimate opinions and family pressures, health and finances, all culled from the vast archive of their correspondence, and the correspondence of their friends and families.
Jacqueline
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've given it 5 stars as I adored this book.
It took me so long to read as I googled poems, journals, poets along the way.
The two daughters so closely raised and yet such different lives
Sara Colerdige always looking for that relationship with her Father when he dies she carries on searching by editing his poetry.
Dora beloved by William Wordsworth and Mary so much so she didn't marry until later in life and then not someone they would have chosen.
It was well written by Katie Waldegrave and sparke
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Jennifer
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this. I was reading during a period of grief and love -- packing up my own mother's house, thinking about mother's day, missing my daughter, worrying about my poetry, wondering about my father's mental health history -- it has so much richness of information and history -- I loved this. The way the two women's lives are handled back and forth through history is wonderful. I appreciated all the footnotes and references -- but I'm a little bit of a literature wonk. I don't know how people ...more
Carmel Rose
Dec 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great insight into not only the literary world of the early 19th century, but that of women.
Christine Parker
A story of women suffering from mens’ egos in pre NHS Britain.
Antenna
Sep 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The remarkable two volume biography of Coleridge (STC) by Richard Holmes inspired me to read Katie Waldegrave’s very readable and apparently effortless achievement of the difficult task of interweaving the parallel lives of Dora Wordsworth and Sara Coleridge, brought up a few miles apart, and friends from childhood.

Dora should have been the happier and more successful of the two: her parents’ marriage was stable, her father was a renowned poet with a supplementary income from his sinecure as “Di
...more
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