The poets’ daughters: Dora Wordsworth and Sara Coleridge

Waldegrave, Katie (2014) The poets’ daughters: Dora Wordsworth and Sara Coleridge. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

Dora Wordsworth and Sara Coleridge were lifelong 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 privilege, but at a terrible cost. In different ways, each father almost destroyed his daughter. And in different ways each daughter made her father. Growing up in the shadow of genius, both girls made it their ambition to dedicate themselves to their father’s writing and reputation. Anorexia, drug addiction and depression were part of the legacy of fame, but so too were great friendship and love.
In this thesis I give the never-before-told story of how two young women, born into greatness, shaped their own histories. In doing I also re-examine the lives of Wordsworth and Coleridge and the significant role Dora and Sara played in their lives, their writing and their legacies. My study of the lives of Dora Wordsworth and Sara Coleridge was written as a biography aimed at a readership beyond academia. While the narrative is based on primary manuscript sources, I have deliberately used the techniques of the professional biographer to create character, pace, conflict and drama.
In order to fit within the PhD assessment criteria, which requires me to submit no more than 100,000 words, the material submitted here is an abridged version of a full-length double biography of Dora and Sara. This main thesis is preceded by a short critical essay with some details about the nature of the research as well as assessment of the PhD’s contribution to knowledge.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Literature and Creative Writing
Depositing User: Brian Watkins
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2015 16:08
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2015 16:08
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/53380
DOI:

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