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...
391. Joseph Weston to Thomas Inskip [? 22 June 1824] *
As the old and intimate friend of the late Robert Bloomfield, the poet, I beg to ask you whether, during your long and intimate acquaintance, you ever heard him say
Firstly. That he actually took his manuscript of the Farmer's Boy to the editor of the Monthly Magazine.
2ndly. That said editor advised him not waste his time in writing poetry.
3rdly. That said editor advised him to consult Mr. Capel Lofft, and gave him a letter of introduction to that gentleman.
4thy. That said editor advised him to 'stick to his last, &c.' which last phrase he, Robert Bloomfield, is accused of having often 'quoted with indignation in the heyday of his subsequent popularity.'
Did you, sir, ever hear him mention these circumstances, or express any resentful feeling at the alleged insult?
A short and early reply in very plain terms will oblige, &c.