Part Four, covering the period 1810-1815, was a crucial one for Southey’s career and reputation. It has, however, never before been fully documented or fully understood. By 1810 he was established in Keswick...
11. Robert Bloomfield to George Bloomfield, 7 November 1798*
London, Nov 7, 1798
I finishd my last rather abruptly for want of time. — If I had given my little piece to Mr. ******* even supposing that he would have accepted it, it would then have taken perhaps six months at least, by monthly continuations, before it would all have been printed. My chief pride would have been to have sent my Mother a printed copy; but, at the above rate, one copy only would have cost six shillings: I therefore send it as it is. I never wrote it out but once. I have no copy of it, except in my memory. You will find the copies of my letters to the parties miserably blotted, they were written in haste, and I meant to have transcribed them, but had not time.
Having never been instructed in grammar, perhaps it may abound in faults of that kind which I am not aware of. The management of stops I don't pretend to.
I desired you not to show it for this reason; because I think it would look awkward to give it even to my Mother without some kind of introductory letter.
You will perceive that the information I principally wanted to gain, I could not gain; that is, how to go about printing such a thing, and what it would cost. But as I could not send my Mother a printed copy, I don't trouble myself much to know whether it was want of merit, or want of patronage that made me fail.
You say you find pleasure in reading it, perhaps it arises principally from this: you know all the situations, circumstances, and persons introduced into it. I wish that pleasure may continue to you, and such of our friends as may happen to get hold of it.
All well, your affectionate brother,