Dora Wordsworth and Sara Coleridge
Drawing on a host of new sources, Katie Waldegrave tells the never-before-told story of Dora Wordsworth and Sara Coleridge.
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 privilege, but at a terrible cost. In different ways, each father almost destroyed his daughter. Growing up in the shadow of genius, each girl made it her life’s ambition to dedicate herself to her 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.
Drawing on a host of new sources, Katie Waldegrave tells the never-before-told story of how two young women, born into greatness, shaped their own legacies.
“Meticulously researched ... a fascinating snapshot of one of the most interesting periods in British intellectual and artistic history …Waldegrave … brings the story of these two women’s lives brilliantly alive.”
“[An] important and moving book . . . quite simply fascinating ... [Dora and Sara] emerge from these pages as intensely knowable; never has the cost of being a daughter of Romanticism been shown with more sympathy and imagination.”
“A gripping narrative ... This insightful and compassionate book ... is a powerful addition to the recent literature that has enlarged our understanding of women whose lives – until now – have remained obscured by those dominant male writers of their time.”
“To find a fresh story to tell about an already formidably chronicled group of historical figures is an accomplishment in itself, but for weaving such a fascinating familial case history out of the material, Waldegrave deserves considerable praise.”
“[A] riveting family saga …Katie Waldegrave is non-judgemental … She has negotiated the mountains of material and the emotional swamps with skill and clarity.”
“Katie Waldegrave does an excellent job showing the trials and tribulations of Dora and Sara.”
Independent on Sunday
“Sometimes, all too rarely, a review seems superfluous and all the reviewer wants to say is, ‘This is a terrific book, read it.’ The Poets’ Daughters is one of those rare books.”
“Waldegrave's remarkable first book ... brings their stories brilliantly alive.”
“Riveting and absorbing …Highly recommended”
Historical Novels Review