3353. Robert Southey to Edith May Southey, 25 September 1819

3353. Robert Southey to Edith May Southey, 25 September 1819 ⁠* 

Inverary. Saturday morning. 25 Sept. 1819

My dear Shedaw

On my arrival here yesterday afternoon, I found your letter. The coach is ordered – & I have but a few minutes for telling you that we have advanced thus far with continued good weather & good fortune. On Tuesday, or at the latest Wednesday we expect to be at Lanark, [1]  – & according to the best estimate I can form, at Keswick on the Sunday following. – I have enquird for Mr Francis, [2]  but cannot learn either that he is, or has been here.

This is the most beautiful place I have seen in Scotland. – My love to all. Tell Sarah I hope she is delighted with the Aonian Hours, & that she has compleated the sonnet ‘Ah wherefore Wiffen? – Jeremiah why.” – [3] 

God bless you.



* Address: [in another hand] Inverary Twenty-fifth Sepr. 1819/ Miss Southey/ Keswick/ Frm/ J Rickman
Postmark: [partial] GLASGO/ 26/ SEP/ 1819/ 105
Stamped: INVERARAY/ 464 G
MS: British Library, Add MS 47888. ALS; 2p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Southey and his party arrived in Lanark on Tuesday 28 September 1819; see Journal of a Tour in Scotland in 1819, ed. Charles Harold Herford (London, 1929), pp. 258–259. They inspected the model factory and community at New Lanark. BACK

[2] Clement Robert Francis (1792–1829), clergyman, Fellow of Caius College, Cambridge and nephew of Southey’s friend, James Burney. Southey had met him in the Lake District. BACK

[3] The poet, translator and Quaker, Jeremiah Holmes Wiffen (1792–1836; DNB), Aonian Hours; and Other Poems (1819); a copy was no. 2963 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. Wiffen had visited Southey in Keswick in summer 1819. The sonnet was perhaps an in-joke between Sara and her uncle Southey. He provided the first line and she would then complete the poem. It might have been a commentary on the quality (or lack of quality) of Whiffen’s volume. BACK

People mentioned

Coleridge, Sara (1802–1852) (mentioned 1 time)

Places mentioned

Keswick (mentioned 1 time)