Appeals: Wordsworth Trust at Grasmere, Cumbria

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The Independent Online
Mary of Buttermere, a pen-and-ink drawing, 1800, by the political caricaturist James Gillray (1757-1815), recently acquired with a later print of the same by the Wordsworth Trust, at Grasmere, Cumbria. The drawing and another recent acquisition, Peele Castle in a Storm, 1806, an oil on canvas by Sir George Beaumont - which inspired one of Wordsworth's most famous poems, 'Elegiac Stanzas' - will be displayed at the end of February at the trust's museum.

Mary Robinson of Buttermere was renowned for her great beauty and many flocked to see her, including Wordsworth and Coleridge. Later she was at the centre of a scandal when her husband was sensationally discovered to be a bigamist and executed at Carlisle. Gillray's print was published in 1802, when the scandal broke. Both poets wrote about Mary: Wordsworth in The Prelude and Coleridge in an unpublished letter, which has been acquired by the trust with the pictures.

The trust - which maintains Dove Cottage and a museum and also plans to build a new Collections Centre to rehouse much of its collection of books, manuscripts, paintings, prints and photographs connected with the Wordsworths and English romanticism - is organising a Book Collectors Weekend for non-specialist and specialists. To be held from Friday 25 to Sunday 27 February, the weekend comprises talks and advice on printing and book conservation from Iain Bain, Head of Publications at the Tate Gallery; Chris Bacon, Director of the Bewick Workshop and Museum, in Northumberland; Mike Crump, Managing Editor of the British Library's English Short Title Catalogue; and Lord Gowrie, chairman of the Arts Council, amongst others. There will be printing demonstrations in wood, copper, steel-engraving and lithography.

Tickets are still available for the weekend. For further information, contact: The Wordsworth Trust, Dove Cottage, Grasmere, Cumbria LA22 9SH, telephone 05394 35544.

(Photograph omitted)