Robert Southey, as many of our readers know, was one of the best-known, controversial and innovative writers in late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Britain. Based upon extensive new archival research, this Collected edition makes available for the first time all his surviving letters, freshly edited, annotated and introduced.
Part One covers 1791-1797, turbulent years which saw the forging of Southey's career and reputation, his involvement in radical politics, and the beginning of his friendships with Wordsworth and Coleridge.
Part Two, which covers 1798-1803, includes his public and private responses to Lyrical Ballads (1798); his reaction to the rise of Napoleon and the continuing conflict between Britain and revolutionary France; his second and final visit to Portugal and the resultant hardening of his anti-Catholicism; his unhappy stint as a secretary to the Irish Chancellor Isaac Corry, and his emotional bludgeoning by the deaths in relentless succession between 1801-1803 of three Margarets, his cousin, mother and first child. Part Two comprises 596 letters, of which 199 are published for the first time, and 107 are published in full for the first time. In addition, 5 letters that appeared pseudonymously in the Monthly Magazine are here newly attributed to Southey.