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...
159. William Marshall Craig to Vernor and Hood, [? early 1805]*
Mr Branston has applied to me on your account to make some designs from the Farmer's Boy and, presuming that he has your authority for the application, I have furnished him with one to begin. I have no doubt of his executing them very well. I write this particularly for the purpose of advising you to reject the present frontispiece and to substitute a new one, because the Poem all thro is a simple and faithful picture of English scenery and English character, and the figure of the Farmer's Boy, wherever introduced in the illustrations should be an English figure and not a piping shepherd of Arcadia. But I doubt not you have observed further, that the present frontispiece, tho' skilfully engraved, is not contrived for printing with effect. I shall expect your reply on this point. 
The plate I designed for Mr Branston and which I understand you have purchased, is from a manuscript of mine which I shall be glad to dispose of as soon as finished or to publish thro' your hands and take a due share of the results.
I am sir
Yr most obedt. Servt