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William Wordsworth (1770–1850)
Plan for a winter garden at Coleorton Hall, Leicestershire, seat of Sir George Beaumont, in an autograph letter of Dorothy Wordsworth to Lady Beaumont, 23 December 1806
Purchased on the Fellows Fund, 1954; MA 1581.20
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In 1806 Wordsworth received an invitation to design a winter garden for the wife of his patron Sir George Beaumont, proprietor of Coleorton Hall in Leicestershire. This project fired the imagination of the poet, who proposed to create a cheerful, comfortable, and secluded place where one could meditate on the change of seasons and cherish hopes of spring. This sketch in his sister's letter shows how Lady Beaumont might stroll through the grounds, which would be protected from the rigors of winter weather by a double bulwark: a line of evergreens and a border of majestic firs.

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Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.