2525. Robert Southey to [Mary Matilda Betham], 22 December 1814

2525. Robert Southey to [Mary Matilda Betham], 22 December 1814 ⁠* 

I am glad to see your proposals [1]  which looks very much as if you were in earnest. Put my name upon your list, & put also that of Miss Barker, Greta Lodge – Keswick; whom if you had come here as we hoped & almost expected, this last summer, you would have known & liked.

I hope ere long to send you Roderick in a more manageable form than its quarto bulk. The small edition is in the press. [2] 

If I knew any E Indians I should be most glad to render any service in my power, – but I am acquainted with none. [3] 

It is dismally cold. We are in the midst of storms. I am as busy as possible, & in some disquietude respecting the youngest child, – not amounting to alarm, – but enough for a constant sense of uneasiness.

Love from all & believe me

Yrs most truly

R Southey

22d Dec. 1814.


* MS: Special Collections, The Johns Hopkins University, Robert Southey Papers, MS. 226. ALS; 2p. (c).
Previously published: Ernest Betham, A House of Letters (Norwich, 1905), pp. 154–155 [in part]. BACK

[1] Betham’s proposals for the Lay of Marie, A Poem (1816), a fictionalised tale of the medieval poet Marie de France (fl.12th century), whose own poems were included, at Southey’s suggestion, in the appendices. Its appearance was advertised in Monthly Magazine, 39 (December 1814), 453, as in the ‘ensuing spring, by subscription’. Mary Barker, Greta Lodge, Keswick, was in the list of subscribers. BACK

[2] The second edition of Roderick, the Last of the Goths, published in two duodecimo volumes in 1815. BACK

[3] Betham may have been soliciting help for one of her brothers, Captain John Betham (1787–1835), who served in the Bombay Marine and published the Trial of Captain John Betham (1829), which detailed his dismissal from the service after an argument over the quality of the biscuits his ship was provided with. BACK

People mentioned

Barker, Mary (c. 1780–1853) (mentioned 1 time)
Southey, Isabel (1812–1826) (mentioned 1 time)

Places mentioned

Keswick (mentioned 1 time)