The Collected Letters of Robert Southey, Part Five

June, 2016
Based on extensive new archival research, The Collected Letters of Robert Southey. Part Five: 1816-1818 publishes for the first time Southey’s surviving letters from a period of considerable upheaval in his own life and in wider society. These were years that saw Southey get to grips with the ambiguities inherent in his role as an ambitious, reforming Poet Laureate, face public controversy and the ghost of his younger, radical self with the illicit publication of Wat Tyler in 1817, and combat private despair over the death of his son. The 537 letters published here are proof that, despite the numerous demands on his time, Southey remained in mid life a vigorous and indefatigable correspondent. They cover a massive variety of subjects – literary and non-literary, public and private, local and global. They shed new light on Southey’s views on literature, politics, religion and society; his work as Poet Laureate and his engagement in public life and public controversy; his relationships with his contemporaries, including Coleridge, Caroline Bowles, Hazlitt, Leigh Hunt, Samuel Rogers, William Wilberforce and Wordsworth; his domestic life in Keswick; his extended family and social networks; his extensive reading; his working practices; his prolific output of poetry and prose; and his interactions with publishers and negotiation of the literary marketplace. The letters show Southey’s career in progress, reveal that it was more complex than has previously been thought, and provide compelling evidence about how his works were shaped and reshaped by external pressures that he could not always control or defeat. They thus make it possible to refine our understanding both of Southey and of the ways in which Romantic writers came to terms with the complex and contentious culture of the mid-late 1810s.


The Monthly Review, April 1818

April, 1818

The Monthly Review, N.S., 85 (April 1818): 439.

An uncouth story, in the taste of the German novelists, trenching in some degree on delicacy, setting probability at defiance, and leading to no conclusion either moral or philosophical. In some passages, the writer appears to favour the doctrines of materialism: but a serious examination is scarcely necessary for so excentric a vagary of the imagination as this tale presents


Reviews & Receptions

September, 2015

The new Romantic Circles Reviews & Receptions section is an innovative venture in contemporary Romantic scholarship, comprising short reviews of recent work, live BookChats, BookLists, a forum for debate, and an evolving compendium of appearances of Romanticism in popular culture.

The Darwins Reconsidered: A One-Day Colloquium


This colloquium - looking at both Darwins in connection with literature - will take place at the University of Roehampton (SW London) on 4 September, 2015. For programme of speakers, directions and details of registration, please follow this link:


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New International Association of Byron Societies site launched

The International Association of Byron Societies (IABS) has unveiled a new Web site, available at http://www.internationalassociationofbyronsocieties.org/. Along with a fresh design, the site contains information and links about Lord Byron, the IABS' member organizations, conference announcements, and news.

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CFP: The Transnational Reception of Waterloo in the 19th Century

On the occasion of the bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo, the Centre for Reception Studies (http://www.receptionstudies.be) of the KU Leuven (University of Leuven) organizes an international conference on "The Transnational Reception of Waterloo in the 19th Century" on 18 and 19 June 2015 (200 years to the day of the Battle).

Confirmed keynote speakers are:

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Podcast: Launch of The Letters of William Godwin, Volume II: 1798-1805

To mark the publication of Volume II of the Letters of William Godwin, a number of scholars convened for a colloquium at Wolfson College, Oxford, on 18 November 2014.

The four talks, by Pamela Clemit, Mark Philp, Jenny McAuley, and Jon Mee, have been released as a podcast. They highlight the breadth and diversity of Godwin’s life and correspondence between 1798 and 1805.

Listen to the podcast here.

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