Letter Published In The Guardian, December 24 2021

Dear Editor,

Dorothy Wordsworth’s rare achievement (Editorial, 19 December 2021) as the other great writer in the Wordsworth family and an early environmentalist is the focus of a year-long celebration of her life in the town where she was born on Christmas Day 250 years ago – Cockermouth, Cumbria.

The centrepiece of the project, supported by our local councils, the National Lottery Heritage Fund and others, is a unique Portrait of Dorothy light installation art work that this year is part of the town’s much loved Christmas lights. Commissioned by local charity Kirkgate Arts and Heritage from the Cumbrian arts practice ArtFly, the ‘statue in light’ stands on a temporary plinth woven from Cumbrian willow and hazel.

Our town is known not only known for its associations with Dorothy’s brother William but also with scientist John Dalton, mutineer Fletcher Christian, and a colonial Viceroy of India, Lord Mayo, whose huge statue has dominated our Main Street since 1875 following his assassination.

Standing alongside Mayo, albeit more modestly and temporarily, Dorothy’s portrait is a reminder of her talent and her values, which resonate so strongly in our own times. She remains an inspiration for overlooked women everywhere.

Marion Bowman
Kirkgate Arts and Heritage
Kirkgate Centre
Cockermouth CA13 9PJ