2663b. Robert Southey to Monsieur le Bibliothecaire-Conservateur & a Gand, [Joseph Antoine Walwein de Tervliet] 24 October 1815 [English translation] 

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

2663b. Robert Southey to Monsieur le Bibliothecaire-Conservateur & a Gand, [Joseph Antoine Walwein de Tervliet] 24 October 1815 [English translation]⁠* 

24 October. 1815


I have spoken about the books to M. Vanhulten [1]  at Brussels; he has told me he had no authority over the Ghent Library. [2]  Not thinking at that time that I would be returning to Ghent, I bought from M. Verbiest [3]  the works of Aitzema  [4]  & made a contract with him for the Acta Sanctorum. [5]  But for the other works of which I chose the duplicates in your Library, I would make the purchase either by exchange of books, or for money. I believe you have the list, but I think that the work of Fathers Martene & Durand [6]  was left off it, & I would like to have that collection as well. I am leaving immediately for England. If you would have the kindness to send me a letter with the price at which you would like to let me have your duplicates, I will remit the amount through a Banker, or I will send you on my own behalf a list of good English books, with the prices marked, for your choice. My address is c/o Messrs Longman Hurst Rees Orme & Browne – Booksellers – London.

Please excuse, I beg you, the mistakes in this letter.

I am, with the respect that a man of letters always owes to his fellows,


Your most obliged servant

Robert Southey


* MS: Universiteitsbibliotheek, Ghent, MS G 12916. ALS; 1p. (c).
Previously published: W. Schrickx, ‘Een onuitgegeven brief van Robert Southey’, Review des Langues Vivantes (Brussels), 2 (1956), 144–46. BACK

[1] C. J. E. Van Hulthem (1764–1832), Librarian of the Royal Burgundian Library 1812–1826. BACK

[2] The Public Library in Ghent, then known as the Bibliotheque Publique de la Ville de Gand. BACK

[3] Jean-Baptiste Ver Beyst (1770–1849) was a famous bookseller in Brussels. BACK

[4] Lieuwe van Aitzema (1600–1669), Saken van Staete en Oorlogh in ende omtrent de Vereenigte Nederlanden (1655–1671) with the continuation by Lambert van den Bos (1610–1698) of 1685–1699 and Aitzema’s Verhael van de Nederlandsche Vrede-handeling (1671), no. 214 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. These books were exceptionally important works of Dutch history, reprinting many documents. BACK

[5] Southey hoped to buy the 53 volume Acta Sanctorum (1643–1794), no. 207 in the sale catalogue of his library. In fact he received a 6 volume edition of 1783–1794, no. 152 in the sale catalogue of his library. BACK

[6] Edmond Martene (1654–1739) and Ursin Durand (1682–1771), Veterum Scriptorum et Monumentorum Ecclesiasticorum et Dogmaticorum Amplissima Collectio (1724–1733), no. 1701 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library, a work of immense documentary labour on the religious history of the Low Countries and Germany. BACK

Published @ RC

August 2013