2025. Robert Southey to John Murray, 31 January 1812

2025. Robert Southey to John Murray, 31 January 1812 ⁠* 

Keswick. Jany. 31. 1812.

My dear Sir

I must have been very dull not to have guessed for what purpose you sent me the List of Books for the Press, – but so it was; – having pleased myself & my wife with seeing for the first time the titles of those unborn Works in Printers characters, I laid the list aside. There seems to be nothing which requires alteration, – except that Nelson [1]  is not nearly ready. – It is almost half done, – & the first half is that which required most trouble, because it is that in which the existing reviewal affords least assistance, – I have delayed sending it till half was compleated, – because when that is done, you will be enabled to cast it to a sheet more or less, & so regulate the size of the page. This I will do soon; – the Register [2]  will be finished in April, – till that time the printer may be going on at his leisure with the first half, & I can engage to compleat the other, so as to have it published in May.

I have Mosheim. [3]  I should be glad of Lewiss Life of Wickliffe & his History of the Translation of the Bible. [4] 

The proofs are returned by this nights post; [5]  – indeed I have never delayed them a single post night, being perfectly aware that the public interest in the subject must be every day declining. – The intended dedication to Jeffray was just in the Killing-no-Murder style, – you had precisely divined the manner in which I treated him. This honour being laid aside I think of substituting a dedication to the Prince Regent, if I can please myself in the difficult task of combining the language of exhortation with what may be thought sufficiently respectful.

believe me dear Sir

Yrs very truly

Robert Southey.

MacKenzie [6]  as soon as I can. – Colliers book [7]  no doubt will occur ere long some of the Catalogues; – it is neither old enough, nor valued enough to be scarce.


* Address: To/ Mr Murray/ Fleet Street/ London.
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: E/ 3 FE 3/ 1812
Watermark: IPING 1806
Endorsement: 1812 Jany 31/ Southey R. Keswick
MS: National Library of Scotland, MS 42550. ALS; 3p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Southey’s Life of Nelson (1813). BACK

[2] Edinburgh Annual Register, for 1810 (1812). BACK

[3] Probably Johann Lorenz Mosheim (1694?-1755), Ecclesiastical History; Southey owned a five volume edition of 1758, no. 2004 in the sale catalogue of his library. BACK

[4] John Lewis (1675–1747; DNB), Life of Wyclif (1720) and A Complete History of the Several Translations of the Holy Bible and New Testament into English (1739). BACK

[5] The proofs of Southey’s The Origin, Nature and Object, of the New System of Education (1812). It was not dedicated to the Prince Regent. BACK

[6] Sir George Steuart Mackenzie (1780–1848; DNB), Travels in the Island of Iceland, in the Summer of the Year 1810 (1811); reviewed by Southey alongside Sir William Jackson Hooker (1785–1865; DNB), Journal of a Tour in Iceland, in the Summer of 1809 (1811), Quarterly Review, 7 (March 1812), 48–92. BACK

[7] Jeremy Collier (1650–1726; DNB), An Ecclesiastical History of Great Britain (1708–1714). BACK

People mentioned

George IV (1762–1830) (mentioned 1 time)
Fricker, Edith (1774–1837) (mentioned 1 time)

Places mentioned

Keswick (mentioned 1 time)