1965. Robert Southey to [Sarah Ponsonby and Lady Eleanor Butler], 13 October 1811 *
Mr. Southey has deferred his thanks to the Ladies of Llangollen for the pleasure which he received in seeing the elegancies and partaking the hospitalities of their delightful retirement, till he could send them a poem upon which he is at present employed, long enough to be a specimen of its tone and manner and entire enough not to be injured by being seen as a fragment.  This portion has been written since his return, and was not completed till yesterday morning. The ‘Roderick’ who appears in it is the hero of Walter Scott’s vision.  It will easily be seen that the author has written under a strong feeling of sympathy with the Spaniards in their present struggle.
Mrs Southey joins him in respectful compliments and thanks.
* MS: MS untraced; text is taken from Mrs. G. H. Bell (ed.), The Hamwood Papers of the Ladies of Llangollen and Caroline Hamilton (London, 1930)
Previously published: Mrs. G. H. Bell (ed.), The Hamwood Papers of the Ladies of Llangollen and Caroline Hamilton (London, 1930), pp. 344–345. BACK