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

2604. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 23 May 1815 ⁠* 

I am busy in closing my Quarterly accounts, – three days more of this task will set me at leisure for a fair spell at Brazil [1]  which will carry me far forward. My Opus De Bello Hispano is about to be announced, – in this forthcoming number of the Review. [2]  I am perplexed about a title for it. All wars which are remembered at all, are known by some specific name, this has not yet obtained it one, & any one which can be given will be disliked at first, merely because people have not been accustomed to it. In the announcement I may defer the difficulty & simply call it the late war. [3]  But t for the title of the Book I would fain have ‘the History of the Usurpation, (– or Intrusion) in Spain & Portugal & Spain. – Intrusion is the more appropriate word, – but the other the least objectionable. Like you it? or what better can you suggest?

RS.

23 May 1815


Notes

* Address: To/ John Rickman Esqre/ St Stephens Court/ New Palace Yard/ Westminster
Endorsement: RS/ 25 May 1815
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: FREE/ 26 MY 26/ 1815
MS: Huntington Library, RS 251
Unpublished. BACK

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

[2] Southey’s three-volume History of the Peninsular War was published between 1823–1832. It was not advertised at this time in the Quarterly Review. BACK

[3] In 1816 it was widely advertised that Southey was at work on the ‘History of the Late War in Spain and Portugal’. BACK

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August 2013