GIVEAWAY 3 copies of Unofficial Britain
Dances with Daffodils
Location(s): Grasmere, Ullswater
Genre(s): Fiction, Historical
Era(s): Early 1800s
It is spring 1802 in London and Luke Greenhead, prodigal son of a Grasmere shepherd, has squandered away half his life. In despair he returns to his Lakeland birthplace in search of home and family. By the shores of Ullswater he stumbles upon wild daffodils at the same time as William Wordsworth and his devoted sister and muse, Dorothy (whose description of the flowers in her journal went on to inspire I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud, one of the greatest poems ever written). Luke is enchanted, not only by the daffodils but by the strange, birdlike woman in their midst. When he attempts to woo Dorothy away from her overbearing brother a battle of forbidden love and tangled loyalties ensues, into which the whole of Grasmere is drawn. Dances with the Daffodils is set against the turbulent background of the Napoleonic wars, the rigours of drystone-walling on the fells at the height of enclosure, and the heady nature worship of Early Romantic poetry. The novel embellishes the real history of the Wordsworths’ early years in Dove Cottage, drawing especially from Wordsworth’s poetry and Dorothy’s journals. Beyond being a vivid and entertaining sketch on a unique time and place in English history complete with the poets, thinkers and common folk who inhabited it, Dances with the Daffodils is a parable about the redemptive power of nature and remembered childhood.
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