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The way we were: Virginia Woolf and George Orwell on hot English summers

Extracts from memoirs and diaries

By Ian Irvine   July 2020

1800

On 26th July, Dorothy Wordsworth writes in her journal at Dove Cottage, Grasmere: “Still hotter. I sat with William in the orchard all the morning and made my shoes. In the afternoon from excessive heat I was ill with the headache and toothache and went to bed. I was refreshed with washing myself after I got up, but it was too hot to walk till near dark, and then I sat upon the wall finishing my shoes.”

1939

On 6th June, the novelist Barbara…

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