About this Edition
The Collected Letters of Robert Southey is divided into eight Parts: I: 1791-1797, II:1798-1803,
III:1804-09, IV:1810-15, V:1816-21, VI:1822-27, VII:1828-33, VIII:1833-39.
The General Introduction outlines the project’s research context. In addition, each individual Part has a brief introductory essay.
Throughout the edition, letters are presented in chronological order, each letter being assigned its own number. Any letters that have been
located after the first publication of an individual Part of the edition are inserted at their appropriate chronological point and given the suffix .1: see, for example, Letter 1889.1. Previously unpublished letters have all been newly transcribed from manuscript. Where letters have been previously published, we have returned to and
transcribed the original manuscript when it survives. In cases where we have been unable to locate the manuscript of a published
letter, copy-text is taken from the published version and this is recorded in the editorial headnote.
All letters are transcribed in full and editorial intervention in the text has been kept to a minimum. Southey’s original spelling,
and mis-spelling, grammar and punctuation has been retained. Deletions are indicated by striking through the deleted word or
phrase, but without any attempt to indicate the heaviness of the deletion: e.g. ‘he said’.
Throughout the text, ‘x’ is used to indicate an illegible character: e.g. ‘he xxid’. Underlining is indicated by italics: e.g.
‘he said’. Editorial [...] within the text of an individual letter are used to indicate issues relating
to the manuscript: a tear, cut, missing section or area obscured by a seal mark or blot, or a substantial section of a letter in
the hand of a co-correspondent. See, for example, Letter 56, co-written with Grosvenor Charles Bedford. Editorial <...> are
used to indicate an authorial insertion of text above or below the line.
Each letter has an editorial headnote which records the manuscript location and any previous instances of publication. It also
deals with other relevant issues, such as endorsements, watermarks, postmarks, franks, stamps and dating. This edition provides
important new information about when many of Southey’s letters were actually written, and re-dates letters that have been misdated
or misleadingly dated by previous editors. For example, Southey’s earliest correspondence is here demonstrated to date to late
1791, rather than 1790 as claimed by John Wood Warter. The following conventions have been observed in dating individual letters:
[...] is used in headnotes to indicate an editorial dating; ‘c.’ to indicate a dating taken from the postmark or from internal
evidence within an individual letter; ‘before’ is used either when a letter contains an authorial date, but there is evidence
within the letter that it was begun before that time, or when an endorsement on the letter indicates its date of receipt; ‘after’
is used when a letter contains an authorial date, but there is evidence within the letter that it was continued after that time;
‘?’ is used to indicate a dating about which there remains some uncertainty.
Detailed information about Southey’s correspondents, along with other important figures in his letters, can be found in the
‘Biographies’ section. Individuals mentioned in ‘Biographies’ are hyperlinked from the text of individual letters, but are only hyperlinked from
editorial endnotes when their identity needs further clarification than that supplied by the letter text. Information about where Southey lived,
locations he was associated with, and the homes of friends he visited is provided in the ‘Places’ section of this edition.
Editorial notes to the text are used to clarify references to persons, books, places, and events within the main body of each
individual letter. They also identify quotations and provide translations of foreign language material. A ‘Chronology’ covers key events in Southey’s life.
Lynda Pratt is Professor of Modern Literature and Director of the Centre for Regional Literature and Culture at the University of
Nottingham. She has published widely on Southey and his circle. She was general editor of Robert Southey:
Poetical Works, 1793-1810, 5 vols (2004) and is co-general editor, with Tim Fulford, of Robert
Southey: Later Poetical Works, 1811-1838, 4 vols (Pickering and Chatto, 2012). Her edited collection Robert Southey and the Contexts of English Romanticism was published in 2006.
Tim Fulford is a Professor of English at De Montford University. He has published several monographs in which Southey features,
most recently Romantic Indians (2006). He edited Thalaba the Destroyer, vol. 3
of Robert Southey: Poetical Works, 1793-1810 (2004) and is co-general editor, with Lynda Pratt, of Robert Southey: Later Poetical Works, 1811-1838. Fulford and Pratt's edition the Collected
Letters of Robert Bloomfield and his Circle is also online at Romantic Circles
Ian Packer is Reader in History at the University of Lincoln. His publications include The Letters of Arnold
Stephenson Rowntree to Mary Katherine Rowntree (Cambridge 2002). He has published widely on political and religious
history and was an editor on Robert Southey: Later Poetical Works, 1811-1838.
Carol Bolton is Senior Lecturer in English at Loughborough University. Her monograph Writing the Empire: Robert Southey
and Romantic Colonialism was published in 2007. She has published widely on Romantic period writing and was an editor
on Robert Southey: Later Poetical Works, 1811-1838.
W. A. Speck is Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Leeds and was a Special Professor in the School of English Studies at
the University of Nottingham. His Robert Southey: Entire Man of Letters was published by Yale University
Press in 2006.
Averill Buchanan was an AHRC-funded research fellow on The Collected Letters of Robert Southey, based at
the University of Nottingham. She completed an AHRC-funded PhD at Queen’s University Belfast in 2004 on the Anglo-Irish writer
Mary Tighe. Her monograph Mary Blachford Tighe: The Irish Psyche was published by Cambridge Scholars
Publishing in 2011.
Sam Ward was an AHRC-funded research fellow on The Collected Letters of Robert Southey, based at the
University of Nottingham. He completed an AHRC-funded PhD at Nottingham Trent University in 2006. He has published peer-reviewed
essays on John Clare John and Robert Bloomfield. His research interests also include James Montgomery.
The editors welcome comments and corrections. Please contact:
Lynda Pratt: Lynda.Pratt@nottingham.ac.uk
The editors thank the following for permission to reproduce manuscripts in their collections:
The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley; Beinecke Library, Yale University; The Berg Collection of English and
American Literature, The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations; the Private Collection of Fred Burwick; The
Trustees of the Boston Public Library, Rare Books; Brown University Library; Special Collections Department, Bryn Mawr College
Library; The Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University in the City of New York; The Division of Rare and Manuscript
Collections, Cornell University Library; Duke University Library; The Fales Library, New York University; Special Collections, The
John Hopkins University; Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin; Hispanic Society of America, New York; Houghton
Library, Harvard University; Historical Society of Pennsylvania; Huntington Library, San Marino; the Library, Lehigh University;
The Lilly Library, Indiana University; Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries; Massachusetts Historical Society;
McLennan Library, Autograph Letter Collection, Rare Books and Special Collections, McGill University Library; Morgan Library, New
York; New York Public Library (General Manuscript collection); Pforzheimer Collection, New York Public Library; the Library,
Pennsylvania State University; Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library; Department of Rare
Books, Special Collections and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester; Spencer Library, University of
Kansas; Department of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries; Tulane University Library; Victoria University Library,
Toronto; the Library, Washington University in St Louis; the Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections, University of Birmingham; Bodleian Library, University of Oxford; Bristol City
Library, Bristol; British Library, London; Brotherton Library, Leeds University; The Principal and Fellows of Newnham College,
Cambridge; the Harrowby Manuscript Trust; Keswick Museum and Art Gallery, Keswick; Liverpool City Library, Liverpool; Liverpool
Record Office; Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections, University of Liverpool; City of London Corporation, London
Metropolitan Archives; the Mitchell Library, Glasgow; the National Art Library, Victoria and Albert Museum, London; National
Library of Scotland, Edinburgh; National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth; Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections,
University of Newcastle; Newstead Abbey, Nottinghamshire; Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections, University of
Nottingham; The Royal Institution of Great Britain; Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum, Lichfield; University of Sheffield Library;
Somerset Record Office; Staffordshire Record Office; Sterling Library, Senate House, University of London; Dr Williams’s Library,
London; The Wordsworth Trust, Grasmere.
Biblioteca Pública de Évora; Universiteitsbibliotheek, Ghent.
The editors are extremely grateful to the family of the late Robert Galloway Kirkpatrick Jnr for granting us permission to quote
from his unpublished doctoral thesis ‘The Letters of Robert Southey to Mary Barker From 1800 to 1826’ (Harvard, 1967).
The Collected Letters of Robert Southey has been made possible by the generosity, help and support of a
number of individuals and institutions.
The general editors thank the Arts and Humanities Research Council for a Resource Enhancement award. Lynda Pratt
would like to thank the Arts and Humanities Research Council for a Research Leave grant; the Leverhulme Trust for a Research
Fellowship; the British Academy for a Small Research grant; the Beinecke Library, Yale University, for an Osborn fellowship; the
Huntington Library, San Marino, for a Michael Connell fellowship; the Friends of Princeton University library for a research
grant; and the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Centre, University of Texas, Austin, for a research fellowship. Tim Fulford would
like to thank the Leverhulme Trust for a Research Fellowship and the British Academy for a Small Research Grant. Carol Bolton wishes to thank the British Academy for a Small Research Grant.. The general editors also thank the following for their financial
support: the Aurelius Charitable Trust, the Charlotte Bonham Carter Charitable Trust and the Thriplow Charitable Trust.
The Collected Letters of Robert Southey has also benefited from grants from the School of English,
University of Nottingham; Humanities Research Centre, University of Nottingham; the Humanities and Social Sciences Strategic Research Fund,
University of Nottingham; the English Department, Nottingham Trent University; the University of Lincoln; Loughborough University.
The editorial team are indebted to the following individuals for their advice, support and assistance in completing
Part One of this edition: Frances Banks, Anthony Bowen, Averill Buchanan, Maria Castanheira, David
Eastwood, Parvin Fatemi, Caroline Franklin, Michael J. Franklin, Lynne Hapgood, Laura Mandell, Tilar J. Mazzeo, Souvik Mukherjee,
Mike Quilligan, Dave Rettenmaier, Nicholas Roe, Diego Saglia, Bill Speck, Sam Ward, Susan J. Wolfson, David Worrall, Duncan Wu and
In addition to the above, the editorial team are extremely grateful to the following for advice and assistance in completing
Part Two and Part Four of this edition: Richard Butterwick, Michael Eberle-Sinatra, Jason Koenig, Joanna Martin, Bill
Overton, Nicola Royan, Douglass H. Thomson, and Timothy D. Whelan.
In addition to the above, the editors of Part Three thank the following for their assistance: Kerri Andrews, Joselyn
Almeida-Beveridge, John Bolton, Julia S. Carlson, Pamela Clemit, Ashley Cross, and Elaine Hobby. The editors are most grateful to Marilyn Gaull for her support, and to Michael Nash for his
invaluable advice on naval matters in Part Three and Part Four.
About the Design
This electronic edition was TEI-encoded by Averill Buchanan under the supervision of Laura Mandell and her team at Miami University
of Ohio, and with the assistance of David Rettenmaier and Mike Quilligan at the University of Maryland. Buchanan used the new Word
Macros tool developed at Miami University by Holly Connor and Jerry Gannod in order to learn TEI encoding. Mandell transformed the
TEI files into HTML by using modified versions of the transforms provided by the TEI.
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