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The Collected Letters of Robert Southey Part 3

1343. Robert Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, [c. 9 July 1807] ⁠* 

My dear Wynn

Immediately on reading your letter I fled to the sheets of Madoc [1]  to see whether it was possible that the Dedication could have been forgotten. But there it is. Your copy must therefore by some accident have been mutilated, – return it xxxx & get another. I could almost feel hurt that you did not immediately account for its omission by any thing rather than design.

On hearing that the Edinburgh Review remained with Jeffrey I wrote immediately to L saying that my article must stand over for the Annual. [2] 

I have not seen Burnett’s books [3]  as yet. Rickman tells me some of it is very good & some sad trash – & this I should expect.

I have received to day a letter of thanks from the Editor of Mrs Hutchinsons Memoirs for the manner in which I have reviewed it, [4]  & he tells me that Earl Manvers [5]  – I guess the name to be but both his Earlship & his Editorship wrote xxxx so villainouly that it is but a guess – has ordered the Annual upon the strength of the same critique. Now am I very curious to read this said reviewal, having as usual fairly passed over it. The book itself is one of the most admirable I ever remember to have read.

What a complete catchpenny is Johnes’s Joinville! [6] 

If you find a second copy of the Madoc without the Dedication let me know it that I may enquire into the cause, – for be you assured Wynn that, of the two, I would rather cancel the poem than that page.

God bless you

RS

Oh the Debates! – It will be well if such debates do not put the people of England in mind of the first scene of the Alchemist. [7] 

The Bristol division of my books are on the seas, & I shall be in fear till they arrive. [8] 


Notes

* Address: To/ C W Williams Wynn Esqr M. P./ Great George Street/ Westminster
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: FREE/ 9 JY 9/ 1807
MS: National Library of Wales, MS 4812D
Unpublished. BACK

[1] The second, duodecimo edition of Madoc (1807). BACK

[2] See Southey to Longmans, 5 June 1807, Letter 1330. Longman had been considering whether to take over publication of the Edinburgh Review under a new editor, in which case the reviews that Southey was undertaking for the Annual Review would have instead appeared in the Edinburgh. BACK

[3] View of the Present State of Poland (1807; from essays originally published in the Monthly Magazine), Specimens of English Prose Writers (1807; a companion to George Ellis’s Specimens of the Early English Poets). BACK

[4] In the Annual Review for 1806, 5 (1807), 361–378, appeared Southey’s notice of Lucy Hutchinson (1620–1681; DNB), Memoirs of the Life of Colonel Hutchinson (1806), a posthumously published memoir by the widow of Colonel John Hutchinson (1615–1664; DNB). The Colonel was a Puritan commander in the English civil war and a signatory of the death warrant of King Charles I. The editor thanking Southey was the Rev. Julius Hutchinson (dates unknown), a descendant. BACK

[5] Charles Pierrepont, 1st Earl Manvers (1737–1816), the Nottinghamshire nobleman who owned estates in the area of Owthorpe House, formerly the seat of the Hutchinsons but by 1807 semi-derelict. BACK

[6] Memoirs of John Lord de Joinville ... Containing a History of Part of the Life of Louis IX. ... To Which are Added, the Notes and Dissertations of M. Du Cange on the above; Together with the Dissertations of M. le Baron de la Bastie on the Life of St. Louis, M. l’Évesque de la Ravaliere and M. Falconet on the Assassins of Syria. The Whole Translated by T. Johnes (1807). BACK

[7] Ben Jonson (1572–1637; DNB), The Alchemist (1610). In Act I, scene I the characters Jeremy and Subtle argue over who is the more important to the swindle they are contriving. BACK

[8] Having decided to stay at Greta Hall, Southey had sent for his books and other belongings which were scattered between friends in London and the West Country. The majority of those from Bristol were being sent by sea to Liverpool. BACK

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Published @ RC

August 2013