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From the Mines to the Mountains: John Dalton's 'Descriptive Poem' of 1755 and Contemporary Accounts of Cumberland & Westmorland

Research output: Book/Report/ProceedingsBook

Publication date2018
Place of PublicationCarlisle
Number of pages210
ISBN (print)9781912181155
<mark>Original language</mark>English


John Dalton’s Descriptive Poem affords a unique glimpse of the industrial wonders and the scenery of Georgian Cumberland and Westmorland. Ranging from the mines of Whitehaven to the mountains of the central Lakes, Dalton’s verses describe the journey of two young women, members of the Lowther family, who toured the two counties during the 1750s. Dalton’s descriptions captured the imagination of his contemporaries, many of whom were enticed by the poem to visit the places it portrays. His words paved the way not only for the early visitors who are often credited with the ‘discovery’ of the Lake District, but also for the Romantic poets who followed in their footsteps. In addition to presenting a facsimile of the first edition of Dalton’s poems, this volume also includes a selection other rare poetic descriptions of scenes in Keswick, Workington, and Whitehaven from the 1750s. Collectively, these poems illustrate how, long before the Romantics, writers found inspiration in the region’s landscape and its industry. The texts are accompanied by an introductory essay and extensive explanatory notes.