3525. Robert Southey to John May, 15 August 1820

3525. Robert Southey to John May, 15 August 1820⁠* 

My dear friend

You have herewith a second letter [1]  pretty well filled. One great charm of biography is that it preserves the history of domestic manners, which is only to be got at incidentally, – & yet is of so much value that every fact relating to it, however trifling, is noticed with pleasure. I am so fond of it that it may peradventure lead me sometimes out of my way. You see I am fairly engaged in the task, – & the time will not be ill bestowed even tho I should sometimes borrow it from other employments.

Your Mr Earl dines here to day, upon some grouse of his own killing, & a neck of Lowther venison. I wish you were of the party.

My good old Aunt Mary arrived yesterday, in fine health & spirits tho a little shaken by the journey. She had never seen any of the children. –  [2] 

My letters will be the better for this seasonable arrival

God bless you

in haste

Yrs affectionately


15 Aug. 1820.


* Address: To/ John May Esqre/ 4. Tavistock Street/ Bedford Square
Stamped: Penny Post/ unpaid/ [illegible]Westm[illegible]
Postmark: 2o’Clock/ 18.AU/ 1820 A.N.n
Endorsement: No. 214/ 1820/ Robert Southey/ – 15th August/ recd. 18th do./ ansd. 13th November/ with his 2d autobiographical/ letter.
MS: Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas, Austin. ALS; 2pp.
Previously published: Charles Ramos (ed.), The Letters of Robert Southey to John May: 1797–1838 (Austin, Texas, 1976), p. 188. BACK

[1] i.e. the second in the series of autobiographical letters that Southey was writing for John May; see Southey to John May, 1–15 August 1820, Letter 3520. BACK

[2] Southey’s surviving children had all been born after his arrival in Keswick: Edith May, Bertha, Kate, Isabel and Cuthbert. BACK

Places mentioned

Lowther estate (mentioned 1 time)