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INSIGHTS Virtual Lectures: Poetry that ‘will live and do good’. Reimagining Wordsworth by Jeff Cowton

Jeff Cowton, Curator and Head of Learning, The Wordsworth Trust

Date/Time: Tuesday 24 November 2020, 17:30 - 18:15

Hosted by Dr Martin Farr, with introduction from Dr Meiko O'Halloran

So wrote Wordsworth from Dove Cottage in 1804, expressing his hopes for the work to which he was devoting his life; teaching people ‘to see, to think and feel’. This lecture will explore how the Wordsworth Trust, custodians of the poet’s house and manuscripts, works with different partners and audiences, seeking to fulfil Wordsworth’s hopes.


Jeff Cowton is Curator and Head of Learning at Wordsworth Grasmere, the Dove Cottage home of writers William and Dorothy Wordsworth between 1799-1808. It was here that William wrote most of his greatest poetry, and Dorothy her Grasmere journal. The site, alongside a Government ‘Designated’ collection of 70,000 manuscripts, books and pictures is owned and run by The Wordsworth Trust. A £6m redevelopment project, ‘Reimagining Wordsworth’ is nearing completion, in which Jeff has led the re-interpretation of the house and new museum. Jeff has worked at the Trust for nearly 40 years, and is a leading figure in the field of interpreting literary manuscripts on which he has lectured in the USA and mainland Europe. He oversees the Trust’s’ traineeship programme (6 young people spending a year in Grasmere) and in the 1990s played a key role in the development of training standards for the cultural sector. In 2010, Jeff was awarded an MBE for services to museums.

Live Q&A:

The lecture will be followed by a live Q&A with the speaker. You can submit a question in advance by sending an email to or during the event using YouTube Live Chat or via Twitter @InsightsNCL.

This event will be hosted on YouTube, registration is not required.