April 7th is the birthday of the famous Romantic poet William Wordsworth. Instead of happy birthday news of the long-deceased writer, we have some bad news. On March 24, 2011, The Guardian reported: “One of the Lake District homes of the English romantic poet William Wordsworth was severely damaged by fire in the early hours of yesterday morning.”
The house is situated in Grasmere, Cumbria. The poet lived in the house from 1808 to 1813. The fire was most likely caused by a faulty electric wire in the roof. The National Trust owns the property; however, it is not open to the general public. We wonder about Wordsworth’s reaction beyond the grave, if the fire would have left a scar on his invisible heart.
The good news is two of the poet’s other houses, Dove Cottage and Rydal Mount, are open to the public, so when traveling to the Lake District, a literary traveler can still get her/his fill of Wordsworth. As the poet wrote so succinctly in his poem “The Farewell”:
FAREWELL, thou little Nook of mountain-ground,
Thou rocky corner in the lowest stair
Of that magnificent temple which doth bound
One side of our whole vale with grandeur rare;
Sweet garden-orchard, eminently fair,
The loveliest spot that man hath ever found,
Farewell!–we leave thee to Heaven’s peaceful care,
Thee, and the Cottage which thou dost surround.
William Wordsworth b. April 7, 1770
Please continue reading our archived article entitled Wordsworth’s Lake District.