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

2149. Robert Southey to John Murray, 23 September 1812 ⁠* 

Keswick. Sept. 23. 1812.

Dear Sir

I agree with you entirely in preferring the fools-cap octavo to the larger size: the printing is so beautiful that I have thought it worth while to attend to the uniformity of the pages, & notice it as a fault when any one is deficient in its proper complement of lines. [1]  – The contents are enlarged according to your desire, – a convenient alteration in this place, as I wished to get rid of the title in this place page. – I fear the book will be thicker than it should be for its intended price. 100 of my pages (which will be very near the mark) will run to 400 in this form.

I am about the Poor, [2]  & shall get on rapidly as soon as I can satisfy myself about the arrangement.

There are two French poems upon Charlemagne. One, which I read many years ago, is in the Library in Red-Cross-Street (Dr Williams’s.) [3]  If Lucien Buonaparte [4]  has not seen this forgotten work, & has any curiosity so to do, that library is so liberally conducted that be application to any of the Trustees, the book may be borrowed for him. The authors name if I recollect it right is Courtin. [5] 

A change of Publisher for a Review in the condition of the British, [6]  is like change of air for a patient in the last stage of hopeless consumption.

I send herewith a farther supply of copy – instead of as a readier mode of conveyance than that which I had proposed for it. [7] 

Believe me my dear Sir

very truly yours

R Southey.


Notes

* Address: To/ J Murray Esqr.
Endorsement: 1812 Sept 23/ Southey R
MS: National Library of Scotland, MS 42550
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Southey’s Life of Nelson (1813). BACK

[2] The first of a series of Southeyan articles on the poor appeared in the Quarterly Review, 8 (December 1812), 319–356. BACK

[3] The library in London founded by the Nonconformist Daniel Williams (c. 1643–1716; DNB). BACK

[4] Lucien Bonaparte (1775–1840), brother of Napoleon and author of Charlemagne, ou l’Eglise Délivrée (1814). BACK

[5] Nicolas Courtin (fl 1666–1687) wrote two poems on Charlemagne, Charlemagne ou le Retablissement de l’Empire Romain (1666) and Charlemagne Penitent (1687). The second poem Southey was thinking of, though, may have been Louis Le Laboureur (fl. 1660s), Charlemagne (1664–1666). BACK

[6] The British Review and London Critical Journal, published by Longman. It survived until 1825. BACK

[7] Southey had originally proposed sending the copy via Grosvenor Charles Bedford; see Southey to John Murray, 21 September 1812, Letter 2148. BACK

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Published @ RC

August 2013