3728. Robert Southey to John Murray, 10 September 1821

3728. Robert Southey to John Murray, 10 September 1821⁠* 

Keswick. Sept. 10. 1821

My dear Sir

I inclose in this packet a book which Sir Howard Douglas [1]  wishes you to lay aside for him, when it has been made use of for the Q. R. To him the Treatise is very satisfactory, & with good reason: for it admits that he is right in his principles, & consequently that Carnot is wrong. It is a subject of very considerable importance, – this I know enough of it to understand. Half a dozen pages in the Review would be sufficient for it. And if Col: Pasley cannot be got to undertake it (who is plainly the fittest person) [2]  perhaps Dr Young [3]  would. But I should think Pasley would do it.

I wish Baldwins Magazine had past into your hands. [4]  You might have made it in some degree supplementary to the Quarterly.

Yrs very truly



* Address: To/ J Murray Esqre
Endorsement: R. Southey Esq/ Sep 10. 1821
MS: National Library of Scotland, MS 42552. ALS; 3p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Douglas was known to Southey because he had provided some papers to help with the research for the History of the Peninsular War (1823–1832). Douglas’s Observations on the Motives, Errors and Tendency of M. Carnot’s System of Defence (1819), offered a detailed critique of Lazare Nicolas Marguerite Carnot’s (1753–1823) classic work on fortifications, Traité de la Défense des Places Fortes (1810), on issues such as the effectiveness of vertical fire by defending forces. The book which Douglas and Southey hoped might be used (probably in a review of Douglas’s work in the Quarterly) was Antoine Marie Augoyat (1783–1864), Mémoire sur l’Effet des Feux Verticaux Proposés par M. Carnot, dans la Défense des Places Fortes (1821). Augoyat supported Douglas’s theories. BACK

[2] Sir Charles William Pasley (1780–1861; DNB), military engineer, whose Essay on the Military Policy and Institutions of the British Empire (1810) was much admired by Southey. At this time Pasley was Director of the School of Military Fieldworks at Chatham, and had given Southey a practical demonstration of techniques of besieging and defending fortifications on 9 May 1817. Pasley did not write on this subject for the Quarterly Review. BACK

[3] The physician and natural philosopher Thomas Young (1773–1829; DNB) did not write on this for the Quarterly Review. BACK

[4] The London Magazine, also known (1821–1824) as Baldwin’s London Magazine. Earlier in 1821, after the death in a duel of its first editor, John Scott (1784–1821; DNB), the magazine had been sold to the firm of Taylor and Hessey, with John Taylor (1781–1864; DNB) assuming the editorship. BACK

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