So I’ve had an unexpectedly amazing morning. We went to Dove Cottage, where Wordsworth spent eight years of his life and my expectations were definitely exceeded. The cottage itself was charming but the real treasure was getting to see a first edition of Frankenstein among his personal collection.
When we got into Dove Cottage I was surprised by how low the ceilings are, barely six feet. This is the storage room off the kitchen, so it’s not meant to be full-size. Even so, it’s maybe four by four feet, with six foot ceilings
The view from Wordsworth’s garden was very charming, a perfect English country house. The house has been under construction for conservation purposes, and this knowledge gave me a cool idea: there should be a show on HGTV or PBS about the restoration of landmark houses such as Wordsworth’s or Scott’s. The show could be partly educational researching the life on work of the person, and partly just a formula renovation show with an antique twist. Maybe this show already exists.
As charming and interesting as the cottage was, my focus was stolen when I got around to the first edition of Frankenstein. For the last few years this story has meant a lot to me.
I feel a deep connection and empathy for Peter-pardon, I mean “the creature”. I understand that the lack of name is symbolically important but he has enough tragedy without the complete degradation of his humanity. As I was saying, I deeply connect and empathize with the Creature. He has an incredible intellect and deep compassion, but is shunned and hated simply for his appearance. I don’t mean to victimize myself by this comparison, I am blessed to be born into a generally accommodating and compassionate society. I simply mean that we both face untrue assumptions and are misrepresented by our appearances.
With this connection and emotion in mind, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say I felt I was in the presence of a holy text. I was able to take the three volumes off the shelf and open the protective case. Not only that, I read aloud the first paragraph of chapter 4. in which Victor brings Peter to life.
I set out hoping only to be mildly interested in Wordsworth, and I had another once-in-a-lifetime experience with my favorite story. It was a wonderful morning. While we unfortunately aren’t studying Frankenstein on this trip, I’m grateful to reconnect with the novel given the opportunity.
Bon Voyage 🏴 E