2009. Robert Southey to John Murray, [c. 30 December 1811]

2009. Robert Southey to John Murray, [c. 30 December 1811] ⁠* 

My dear Sir

I have a letter from Dr B. this evening. Concerning the little essay now in the Press, it will be enough to say, that I shall without the smallest reluctance suppress any thing which may be thought needlessly or offensively severe. [1]  Concerning the Book of the Church [2]  I feel a strong conviction that I could not be better employed than in getting it ready with the least possible delay. – It will not occupy me much longer than a long article for the Review, – dispense with me therefore for the next number, & I will forthwith set apart a portion of the day for this really important object. Have the goodness to procure for <me> the Church Histories of Fuller & Jeremy Collyer, – & Burnetts History of the Reformation. [3] 

I shall now have an account open to you with you, which if we can get these projected works into use as school books will I trust prove a good one. The books above mentioned should be charged to that account for I shall wish to keep them. Will you also have the goodness to send me the new edition of Chardins Travels. (French) [4]  & the parts which are published of Kerrs Hist: of Voyages & Travels, [5]  & to send a copy of Sir G. Mackenzies Travels, [6]  directed for Manuel Abella Esqr &c &c &c Cadiz, to the care of J. Alonso Ortiz Esqr. Spanish Consul General. 7 Salisbury Street, Strand. [7] 

I have packed up a parcel of your books. The residence in Tongataboo, [8]  & the Narrative of Ippolyto de Costa [9]  you will please to charge to me, as I have added them to my stock.

The coach offices continue their impositions which have now assumed a new shape. Your last parcel was charged to me “from Ferry-bridge” – a magnificent roguery.

believe me my dear Sir

Yrs very truly

R Southey.


* Address: To/ Mr Murray/ Fleet Street/ London.
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: E/ 31 DE 31/ 1811
Watermark: IPING/ 18[MS torn]6
Endorsement: 1811 Decr 31/ Southey R.
MS: National Library of Scotland, MS 42550. ALS; 3p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Southey’s The Origin, Nature and Object, of the New System of Education (1812) was an expansion of his advocacy of Bell in Quarterly Review, 6 (August 1811), 264–304. Southey’s attacks on Brougham, Jeffrey and others were moderated before publication. Bell had written to Southey on 26 December 1811 expressing concern that his case would be damaged if Southey employed ‘any degree of acrimony and severity of expression’. Instead he urged him to write in ‘the least offensive and most conciliatory style’; see Southey, Caroline Southey and Charles Cuthbert Southey, The Life of the Rev. Andrew Bell, 3 vols (London, 1844), II, p. 650. For Southey’s reply to this; see Southey to Andrew Bell, 30 December 1811, Letter 2008. BACK

[2] Book of the Church (1824). For Southey’s early plan see his letter to John Murray, 13 December 1811, Letter 1997. BACK

[3] Thomas Fuller (1607/8–1661; DNB), The Church History of Britain (1655); Jeremy Collier (1650–1726; DNB), An Ecclesiastical History of Great Britain (1708–1714); and Gilbert Burnet (1643–1715; DNB), History of the Reformation of the Church of England (1679–1714). BACK

[4] Sir John Chardin (1643–1713; DNB), Protestant French jeweller and traveller who settled in England and published Voyages en Perse et autres lieux de l’Orient (1711). Southey here requests the ten-volume edition published in Paris in 1811; no. 573 in the sale catalogue of his library. BACK

[5] Robert Kerr (1757–1813; DNB), A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels (1811–1824). Kerr compiled the first ten of this eighteen-volume series. BACK

[6] Sir George Steuart Mackenzie (1780–1848; DNB), Travels in the Island of Iceland, in the Summer of the Year 1810 (1811). BACK

[7] Jose Alonso Ortiz (d. 1815), Spanish Consul General to the United Kingdom, 1809–1815. BACK

[8] George Vason (1771/2–1838), An Authentic Narrative of Four Years’ Residence at Tongataboo, One of the Friendly Islands (1810), used by Southey in his review of Transactions of the Missionary Society in the South Sea Islands, Quarterly Review, 2 (August 1809), 24–61 (esp. 36–37); Southey’s more detailed appraisal of Vason is in Quarterly Review, 3 (May 1810), 440–455. BACK

[9] Hipolito da Costa (1774–1823), Narrativa da Perseguicao (1811), no. 3205 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. BACK

People mentioned

Bell, Andrew (1753–1832) (mentioned 1 time)
Abella, Manuel (1753–1817) (mentioned 1 time)