3506. Robert Southey to Edward Moor, 4 July 1820

3506. Robert Southey to Edward Moor, 4 July 1820 ⁠* 

Keswick. 4 July. 1820.

Dear Sir

I take the first opportunity after my return home to thank you for the very interesting & valuable papers with which you have entrusted me; [1]  & to assure you that I will take use them with that discretion which it is equally my duty & my desire to observe. Indeed you will readily perceive that in using private materials it would be at once useless & improper to refer to them as my authorities, – useless because the reader who should be desirous of comparing my statement with those authorities can have no opportunity of doing it; – improper because it might seem like a wish of transferring to others that responsibility which ought to rest wholly upon myself. I shall therefore acknowledge in the preface whatever favours of this kind I have received, but in no instance specify in the body of the work, the specific documents from which it has been drawn, except where those documents are before the public. [2] 

After a long absence, & so hurried & restless a course of life (continually moving from one place to another) that I had not at any time after I received your packet leisure to acknowledge & thank you for it, as I ought to have done, I am now just returned to the quiet of my own home. [3]  My work will now be sent immediately to press, & I shall not leave home till it is fairly compleated, unless any unforeseen accident should call me away.

With many thanks for your obliging & important communication

I have the honour to remain

Dear Sir

with much respect

yours truly & thankfully

Robert Southey.


* Address: To/ Major Moor/ Bealings/ near Woodbridge/ Suffolk
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
MS: Keswick Museum and Art Gallery, KESMG 1996.5.191. ALS; 2p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Moor had lent Southey the papers of his brother-in-law, Sir Augustus Simon Frazer (1776–1835; DNB), to help with Southey’s History of the Peninsular War (1823–1832). BACK

[2] Southey’s recognition of his sources was less specific than he suggests here: ‘For the private sources of information which have been open to him, the author must content himself here with making a general acknowledgement’, History of the Peninsular War, 3 vols (London, 1823–1832), I, p. vi. BACK

[3] Southey had spent the months of May–June 1820 in London. BACK

Places mentioned

Keswick (mentioned 1 time)