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The Collected Letters of Robert Southey Part 4: 1810-1815

1917. Robert Southey to John Murray, 5 May 1811 ⁠* 

Keswick. May 5. 1811.

Dear Sir

I have to acknowledge & thank you for the inclosure in your letter, this evening received.

The Register [1]  will have occupied me three months longer than that of the preceding year {1808}, out owing of course to the eventfulness of the year. Had it not been for this heavy hindrance, which for want of experience x x never came into my calculations, I should have finished the Life of Nelson. [2]  & have also got three or four articles ready for your review before my journey to the south. I have yet nearly a months close work before me. My first employment after my return shall be to discharge perform my engagement with you, & provide something for No. 11. [3] – The Spanish book [4]  which you were kind enough to borrow for me I will bring with me to town, – if it were purchaseable I should be exceedingly glad to purchase it add it to my collection.

The article which I have most in my mind & in my heart is relates to Malthus, [5]  upon whom I would fain make a deadly attack as an act of moral, political & religious duty.

believe me

Yrs very truly

Robert Southey.


Notes

* Address: To/ Mr Murray/ Fleet Street/ London.
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: E/ 8 MY 8/ 1811
Watermark: IPING/ [MS torn]06
Endorsement: 1811 May 5th/ Southey R – Keswick
MS: National Library of Scotland, MS 42550
Unpublished. BACK

[1] The Edinburgh Annual Register, for 1809 (1811). BACK

[2] The Life of Nelson (1813). BACK

[3] Southey reviewed the Bell and Lancaster controversy in Quarterly Review, 6 (August 1811), 264–404. BACK

[4] Possibly, ‘Descripcion de las Provincias Pertenecientes al Arzobispado di Lima’; no. 3645 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library, inscribed in his hand: ‘This book of which perhaps a duplicate is nowhere to be found, was given me by Mr Murray; it contains the fullest account which has yet been published on the old Vice-royalty of Peru, province by province. The information was obtained from the respective Corregidores, and printed for many successive years in the Lima Almanack, from whence some curioso cut out the whole collection, and formed them into this most valuable volume’. BACK

[5] The political economist Thomas Robert Malthus (1766–1834; DNB). The first of a series of Southeyan articles on the poor, which appeared in the Quarterly Review, 8 (December 1812), 319–356, was intended as ‘an attack upon Malthus’, amongst others; see Southey to Charles Danvers, 5 January 1813, Letter 2199. BACK

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Published @ RC

August 2013