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...
277. Robert Bloomfield to Mary Lloyd Baker, 10 September 1812*
Shefford. Beds. Sep 10. 1812
The Bookselling world goes on but very roughly of late. Somthing more than a year ago Mr Hood, my principal man, died suddenly and the business came into the hands of a younger partner, who found himself involved, sold off his stock and Copy-rights &c when property of mine, (which sold among the rest) was in his hands to the amount of four hundred pounds. And I have since the mortification to find him a Bankrupt, by which I shall loose at least half that sum, and know not when I may get any. They talk of a dividend in December, but in the mean time I am, and shall be put to my shifts. Befor the Bankruptcy his share of my Copyrights was sold to Crosbie, another Bookseller, who is now bound by the original agreements to render me my accounts and profits as the other had done. They hold amongst them but half my copyrights and they all revert into my hands in 14 years from their publication. The Farmers Boy will be wholy my own in a year and half, and the others in succession. But I am so heartily tired of writing on this blank subject to so many quarters that I leave it, assuring you that I am in better spirits than such blows are calculated to inspire, and far better health than when in London. Yet I have been on the point of asking Mr Baker to accept my note of hand for the loan of £40 for 6 months. Perhaps I can get it nearer, and I shall be loth to try his friendship in such a manner untill I cannot proceed without.
I have balanced myself to day with two pockets full of Nuts, which we get without going down Mr Vizard's Throat.
I sincerely hope that this will find you better than before, We are all as usual except my wife, who is unwell. Remember me to your young Ladies and to Mr Baker, And with pleasant recollections and best wishes I am
Dear Madam Yours truly