While in Malvern, just before her relocation to Keswick, FR made the acquaintance of two sisters, Bessie and Caroline Dent. They found their interests so similar and the sisters were so taken with FR's theory of the constellations, that they were instant close friends. These interests included poetry, painting, and the Scriptures.
Since FR was older than they, the sisters began to call her "Aunt," and she was delighted by this new relationship. So many of her friends had already died that at times she felt bereft.
The women sent their sketches, paintings and poetry to one another, sometimes just to share it and sometimes seeking advice. This excerpt from a letter demonstrates their mutual affection.
To the Misses Dent. Keswick, January 17th, 1849.
I think I ought to write an epitaph "on two fair sisters smothered in sonnets," by a cruel aunt, as bad as an uncle, vide Babes in the Wood—for lo! here are more that would be written, it's no use resisting, when the thought has rolled in my brain the destined time, out it will come. And of most of these the first idea was spoken to you, on the scenery viewed together.
September 16, 1858
"MY DEAREST CARY,
"_____ _____ wants materials for a speech, or something about Dunmail Raise. I had an old unﬁnished sonnet on it, sketched, with the view on the spot, so I hunted it up, and the crabbed task I have had to ﬁnish it has almost disgusted me with sonnet writing. Cramming one’s thoughts in that measure is like a carpet bag that won't shut . . . ."
FR referred to herself as a Anglo-Saxon enthusiast, which is why she would have visited Dunmail Raise and started a piece of poetry about it. Dunmail Raise is a pass on the Keswick-Kendal road which in AD 945 was the scene of a bloody battle between the King of Cumbria and the Saxon King Edmund First and Malcolm, King of Scots.
Stories of heroism moved FR; she was always a Romanticist. Trying to cram her romantic thoughts into the sonnet form would certainly have left her feeling cramped—and crabby.