Greenwell, Dorothy (‘Dora’)


b Greenwell Ford, Lanchester, nr Consett, Co Durham 1821, d Clifton, Bristol 1882. Sometimes thought to have been a Quaker because of her later sympathies, she came from a strongly clerical Anglican family. Bu when her father’s estate had to be sold, at the age of 27 she went to live first with her two ordained brothers, then with her widowed mother in Durham, and then often alone in London, Torquay and Clifton. Of a keen intellect herself, though suffering from poor health, she put much effort into helping children with learning difficulties and in opposing animal vivisection. Her many writings of verse and prose included The Patience of Hope (1860), a volume of essays in 1862, Carmina Crucis (‘Songs of the Cross’, 1869) and Songs of Salvation (1873). Describing herself as ‘a somewhat ardent politician’, her greater aims were social and benevolent. Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Christina Rossetti were among contemporary authors she specially admired, and her work is not without humour. Her selected Poems including songs and sonnets were published posthumously with a biographical introduction in 1889. The American Quaker poet J G Whittier held a very high opinion of her spiritual writing, while others have judged her prose to be of a higher quality than her poetry; W Dorling published a biography in 1885. No.760.

Hymns and songs by Greenwell, Dorothy (‘Dora’)

Number Hymn Name
760 I am not skilled to understand