Dorothy Wordsworth and Mary Ann McCracken were both born in the 1770s, and both perhaps better known in history through their respective brothers’ actions. Carr’s third collection concerns the lives of these women, “not a biographical history” but “a personal response”.
The women are largely dealt with separately – four poems at the end bring them together, but it is Wordsworth that dominates here, coming first and given twice as many poems as McCracken. This might suggest that Carr felt a closer kinship to Dorothy than fellow Belfast native Mary Ann; although for the contemporary reader, it is perhaps easier to connect to the ideal of a conflicted pastoral life from the Wordsworths than the heavy political context of the McCrackens. (Lagan Online http://laganonline.co/review-ruth-carr-feather-and-bone/ )