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...
264. Robert Southey to Joseph Cottle, [c. 20 October 1797] *
I would thank you for the Poets  — but I cannot say all I wish — & will not say less. an engagement at Bradford yesterday prevented me from using the Norway scenery  till this morning. I have written abandoned an hundred lines to your brother  & expect to double them.
As we shall breakfast at Bristol our day will be a long one, & allow time to return in the evening. I know not to fix the day & it matters not. no proof besides it were better to bring my epistle to your brother myself in the Irish Way
Ediths love. God bless you.
No proof. I have but one month longer to remain in this part of the world — & very much wish to get into the Poem.
* Address: To/ Mr Cottle/ High Street/ Bristol
Seal: [Trace; illegible]
Endorsements: Octr — 1797; 38 (86)
MS: Berg Collection, New York Public Library
Dating note: Dating of this letter is from internal evidence. The visit to Bradford on Avon, mentioned here, is probably connected to the trip to Farleigh Hungerford castle described by Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, 20 October 1797 (Letter 265), suggesting this letter to Cottle was written about the same time. Southey left for London c. 20 November 1797. BACK
 Either a reference to Mary Wollstonecraft, Letters Written During a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway and Denmark (1796), which Southey had requested Joseph Cottle send him ([c. 16 October 1797], Letter 262); or to ‘views of Norway’ taken by Charles Fox (1740?–1809; DNB), see a note to Southey’s ‘To A. S Cottle’, in Amos Simon Cottle, Icelandic Poetry, or the Edda of Saemund Translated into English Verse (Bristol, 1797), p. xxxvi n.*. BACK