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

2488. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 16 October 1814 ⁠* 

My dear R.

I fully perceive the fitness of going to Spain, & have been dreaming over the map, with a view to making as comprehensive a pilgrimage as possible: but in all likelihood a civil war will prevent the accomplish put an end to these unfledged purposes. Meantime my second vol. of Brazil [1]  goes to press & will be the main work of my winter. It is now time to think in earnest about the map.

I think your principle of the size a good one. We need not go farther south than B Ayres, & the Spanish part, except Paraguay & the shores of the Plata may be a mere skeleton. Has Arrowsmith [2]  seen a map of Maranham & the adjoining captaincies, published at Rio Janeiro in 1810? [3]  – Will it not be the better {way} to engrave the skeleton as soon as may be, that I may add what I can to the proof during the progress of the work? – Henry Koster has been translating the first volume [4]  in the island of Itamaraca for the use of a Portugueze priest. Of all my works this has been read the least, but with the deepest interest by those whom the subject interests attracts. This was to be expected.

Can you send me the Evidence upon the Copyright Bill? [5]  – You will receive Roderick [6]  as soon as it is published: Longman delays it till November.

God bless you

RS.

Keswick. 16 Oct. 1814

Do you retain your house, [7]  or are you ex domiciliated?


Notes

* Address: To/ John Rickman Esqre/ St Stephens Court/ New Palace Yard/ Westminster
Endorsement: RS./ 16 Octr. 1814
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: FREE/ 19OC19/ 1814
MS: Huntington Library, RS 234
Unpublished. BACK

[1] The second volume of the History of Brazil, published in 1817. BACK

[2] The first volume of the History of Brazil (1810–1819), p. [vi] announced ‘The map also is delayed’; it appeared in the second volume, published in 1817. The Arrowsmiths were a family of celebrated map-makers and Southey is probably referring to the senior partner, Aaron Arrowsmith. BACK

[3] Mappa Geographico da Capitania do Maranhao (1810). BACK

[4] Henry Koster’s translation was not published. BACK

[5] i.e. the evidence submitted to the Parliamentary committee examining copyright in 1813. This eventually led to an amendment to the law on copyright in 1814. This extended the copyright authors were entitled to on their works, by making it 28 years in all circumstances, or the life of the author if longer. BACK

[6] Roderick, the Last of the Goths (1814). BACK

[7] i.e. the house at Westminster that came with Rickman’s job as Secretary to The Speaker. As he had recently been promoted to Second Clerk Assistant at the Table of the House of Commons, Southey is asking if he will have to move. BACK

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Published @ RC

August 2013