The opportunity gifted to me by the generous support of the Jonathan Wordsworth Scholarship has ensured I have had one of the best years of my life here at Oxford. I have been reading for an MSt in Victorian English literature. I have focused on poetry, which has been my passion since I was young, and have completed stimulating research projects on Lord Byron’s underappreciated Canto IV of Childe’s Harold Pilgrimage and a contemporary American poet called Louise Gluck, who I would not have heard of, if not for the expert tutelage of my dissertation supervisor. I chose to write on the poetic style of Thomas Hardy and, with my supervisor’s guidance, have produced an essay that I am truly proud of.
My last project was on Christina Rossetti’s manuscript notebooks. The Weston Library, just across the road from Exeter, has the only copy of these notebooks in the world, and I spent many happy and productive afternoons scouring them. I became entranced by reading her poems in her original hand – a true delight for a poetry lover!
Here at Exeter I have made friends with the most diverse and interesting group of people I have yet met, and have loved attending formal dinners and going punting with them. It was always a dream to come to Oxford (ever since I read Brideshead Revisited!), and it has lived up to my expectations in every way.