666. Robert Southey to Richard Heber, 28 March [1802] ⁠* 

My dear Sir

I send with your books a large paper {set copy} of my own poems, – beseeching you to consider the large paper as the reason why they are sent. There are but twelve copies, & as one of the sheets was had the pages xxxxxxxxx misarranged, I hope this monstrosity may be regarded as making them more curious.


Tuesday March 28


* Address: Richard Heber Esqr/ Elliotts Brewery
MS: Sterling Library, University of London, tipped into S.L. I [Southey-1797], a presentation copy of R. Southey, Poems, vol. 1, 4th edn (London, 1801) and vol. 2 (Bristol and London, 1799).
Dating note: This letter almost certainly dates from 1802, in which case Southey has misdated it, as 28 March fell on a Sunday that year. Southey probably sent this to accompany books he had borrowed from Heber’s library a couple of months earlier (see Southey to Charles Danvers, 26 January 1802, Letter 652). The same letter to Danvers records Southey’s annoyance at discovering a printing error in the large copies of his Poems intended as presentation volumes. The identical error is mentioned in the letter to Heber, where it becomes a ‘curiosity’ that might be valued by a noted bibliophile. The gift of a presentation copy of Southey’s poems additionally suggests an early date in his friendship with Heber, whom he had met during his Welsh tour of autumn 1801. BACK

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August 2011