Part Four, covering the period 1810-1815, was a crucial one for Southey’s career and reputation. It has, however, never before been fully documented or fully understood. By 1810 he was established in Keswick...
209. Robert Southey to Joseph Cottle [fragment], [5 April 1797] *
* * * I am running a race with the printers again: translating a work from the French: ‘Necker on the French Revolution,’  vol. II. Dr. Aikin and his son translate the 1st volume. My time is wholly engrossed by the race, for I run at the rate of sixteen pages a day; as hard going as sixteen miles for a hack horse. About sixteen days more will complete it.
There is no necessity for my residing in London till the close of the autumn. Therefore after keeping the next term, which may be kept the first week in May, I intend to go into the country for five months; probably near the sea, at the distance of one day’s journey from London, for the convenience of coming up to keep the Trinity Term. This will not increase my expenses, though it will give me all the pleasure of existence which London annihilates. God bless you,
* MS: MS untraced; text is taken from Joseph Cottle, Reminiscences of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey (London, 1847).
Previously published: Joseph Cottle, Reminiscences of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey (London, 1847), p. 205 [in part, with omissions at beginning and end of the letter indicated; undated]. A short extract from the first paragraph, dated 5 April 1797, appears in Charles Cuthbert Southey (ed.), Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey, 6 vols (London, 1849–1850), I, p. 307 n*.
Dating note: Dating of this letter is derived from Charles Cuthbert Southey. Internal evidence supports a date of about this time. BACK