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In August 1803, Dorothy Wordsworth left Cumbria with her better-known brother (and, initially, the poet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge) in a “jaunting car” (two-wheeled carriage) pulled by a “stout horse” for a six-week tour of Scotland.

As a single woman and travel-writing pioneer, she found the Highlands mysterious and foreign-feeling, unsettled in the aftermath of the battle of Culloden and in the midst of the Clearances. Her sharply observed travelogue, Recollections of a Tour Made in Scotland, shows her both close to nature and to the women who cooked for them, offering a unique insight into the social conditions of the time.

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Vijay Nanda

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