2704. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 30 January 1816

2704. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 30 January 1816⁠* 

My dear Grosvenor

You will wonder what is become of me, of the drawings, & of the poem

My letter to Paris never reached Nash. He wrote to me just before he left town, & said he was going in the country to make the drawings, [1]  – but of a quarto size – I replied immediately to rectify this error, – & in the letter announced you as my Embassador Extraordinary. I told him also that Ch. Bells view of Hogoumont on the outside would probably be found to answer better than tha his. [2]  – You will be much pleased with Nash: – his portraits (small drawings) are some of the most beautiful that I have ever seen.

So much for the drawings. I trust you will be able in a few days to carry some of them to Longmans, & f that they may put them into the engravers hands. [3]  The poem is in the last part or canto, – which takes the form of an allegory or vision. [4]  I have just got a rev a reviewal of Alfieri off my hands. [5] Tom is here looking for a house, – which xxx he is likely to find near Egremont. [6] 

in haste

God bless you –


Keswick 30. Jany. 1816


* Address: To/ G. C. Bedford Esqre/ 9 Stafford Row/ Buckingham Gate
Endorsements: 30 Jany 1816; 30 January 1816.
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. c. 25. ALS; 2p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Nash provided seven sketches of sites connected to the battlefield of Waterloo, to illustrate Southey’s poem The Poet’s Pilgrimage to Waterloo (London, 1816), at the frontispiece and between pp. 56–57, pp. 62–63, pp. 68–69, pp. 70–71, pp. 88–89 and pp. 90–91. BACK

[2] The anatomist and surgeon Charles Bell (1774–1842; DNB), whose drawing of the farmhouse of Hougomount was engraved as an illustration to The Poet’s Pilgrimage to Waterloo (London, 1816), between pp. 58–59. BACK

[3] George Cooke (1781–1834), engraver. BACK

[4] In fact ‘The Vision’ expanded into Part Two of the poem, more than doubling its length. BACK

[5] Southey reviewed, in the Quarterly Review, 14 (January 1816), 333–368, Vita di Vittorio Alfieri, &c. Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Victor Alfieri, Written by Himself (1815) and The Tragedies of Vittorio Alfieri, Translated by Charles Lloyd (1815). BACK

[6] Thomas Southey took a farm at Warcop, near Brough, to the east of Keswick, rather than at Egremont, to the west. BACK

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