Robert Southey and Millenarianism:
Documents Concerning the Prophetic Movements of the Romantic Era
Ed. Tim Fulford
This website presents the first scholarly edition of Robert Southey’s various writings about the prophetic movements of Romantic-era Britain. Its aim is to throw new light on two related areas: the nature and history of millenarian prophecy in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries—especially William Bryan, Richard Brothers, and Joanna Southcott—, and the significance of prophecy in Southey’s social, political analysis of his times. A fascinated commentator upon what he termed ‘enthusiasm’, Southey published two of the earliest accounts of Southcott and her predecessors ever written, accounts derived both from personal acquaintance with some of the major figures involved and from a detailed study of their writings. These accounts are reproduced here, collated with the manuscripts on which they were based, and with explanatory notes. In addition, a selection of Southey’s remarks on millenarians in his private manuscript correspondence is presented, and an introduction comprising a brief history of the prophetic movements in the Romantic era and a critical discussion of Southey’s writings on the subject.
Tim Fulford is a Professor of English at De Montfort University. He has published several monographs and articles in which Robert Bloomfield features, including Literature, Science and Exploration in the Romantic Era: Bodies of Knowledge (2004). He edited Thalaba the Destroyer, vol. 3 of Robert Southey: Poetical Works, 1793-1810 (2004) and is co-general editor, with Lynda Pratt, of the forthcoming Robert Southey: Later Poetical Works, 1811-1838. Pratt and Fulford and Packer’s edition The Collected Letters of Robert Southey is also online at Romantic Circles.
The editor welcomes comments and corrections. Please contact:
Tim Fulford: firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Encoding and Design
This electronic edition was TEI-encoded by Averill Buchanan in liaison with Laura Mandell and her team at Miami University of Ohio, who provided stylesheets and transforms, and with the assistance of David Rettenmaier and Michael Quilligan at the University of Maryland.
The editor is grateful to the Panacea Society for a grant which made possible the research leading to, and the production of, this site. He is also glad to acknowledge the support of Nottingham Trent University and of the following scholars: Averill Buchanan, Jon Mee, Michael Neve, Steve Poole, Lynda Pratt, David Worrall.