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...
193. Robert Bloomfield to Mary Ann Bloomfield, 30 October 1806*
Canterbury, Oct 30, 1806
My Dear Mary
I came to the Old City yesterday by a coach from Rochester, at which place and at Chatham, I have been since saturday evening last, for on that day I walk'd over Boxley Hill, to Rochester (about 8 miles) from Maidstone, and when Hannah was busy making a noise with her birthday I was tired and in a strange place, but some Coffee, and a glass of wine cured my temporary troubles, and I took a moonlight walk. The same evening with great pleasure I have seen as much of Chatham as the time would permit and have been on board the Victory and seen the spot where Lord Nelson lean'd when he died! I staid a day longer than I intended for my friends contrived to make me stay too long for the Coach, I lost my passage; but took care to be in the way yesterday, and am now writing at Mr Wm Kingsford's at Barton Mills near Canterbury. I dine tomorrow at Mr. Sampson Kingsford's at Sturry, a little further on the Margate road. The weather holds highly in my favour, the Country is delightfull; here is a most noble and venerable old Cathedral of larger dimentions than Westminster Abbey, and a thousand things to see that I cannot here name. I hope to be at Dover by Monday, and thence to proceed to Deal Ramsgate, and perhaps to Margates for it is but little out of my way, and I shall probably return by Canterbury and Chatham, and from Chatham walk over to Gravesend, and come to London by the Boat. This is my present plan, but if I find that I must alter it, I will write to you again from Dover, or from any where else that may be convenient. My best love to yourself and Father & the Children, and I am ever yours truly