3753. Robert Southey to [Edward Moor], 4 December 1821

3753. Robert Southey to [Edward Moor], 4 December 1821⁠* 

Keswick. 4 Dec. 1821.

Dear Sir

Immediately on the receipt of your letter I carefully packed up your volume of extracts, [1]  & it will go for London by tomorrows coach. When it can be spared I shall be most glad to be favoured with it again. It will be of the greatest use to me when I reach the time where it begins.

Should my publishers determine upon sending my History abroad, volume by volume without waiting till the whole is compleated, [2]  I shall in that case have the pleasure of sending copies of the first volume to you, & to Sir Augustus Frazer [3]  early in the ensuing spring. About sixty sheets are printed. This volume contains so much which is preliminary to the war, & so much which is not military, that it will only come down to the end of Sir John Moores campaign. [4]  No other two years, upon the same scale of narration, will occupy so much room as this one.

It would indeed have given me great pleasure to have seen you at Keswick, & to have shown you a country which even after Switzerland may certainly be seen with pleasure. On my return from that country [5]  I felt the poverty of our vales more than the inferiority of our mountains. But there is a charm of proportion here; – there is a sense of safety which in all the finest parts of Switzerland is wanting; we have no icey winds, – & no goitres – which make ones heart ache in the Valais & the Maurienne.

Pray remember me & my family in the kindest manner to the Clarksons. [6]  I should much like to see his royal guests, – who are certainly beholden to him for their elevation, – whatever may have been the cause of their fall. [7]  If I were T. Clarkson [8]  I think I should fall in love with one of the Princesses. Remember me also to Bernard Barton, of whom the Quakers ought to be proud.

I hope you may be induced to set out for the Lakes another year, & with better fortune.

Believe me

Dear Sir

Your obliged & obedient servant

Robert Southey.


* Endorsement: 1821/ Keswick 4 Decr; Major Moor
MS: Cornell University Library. ALS; 2p. (c).
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Moor had lent Southey materials on the Peninsular War of 1808–1813. BACK

[2] Southey’s History of the Peninsular War (1823–1832). BACK

[3] Sir Augustus Simon Frazer (1776–1835; DNB), a career soldier, had seen service in the Peninsular campaign of 1812–1813 as a highly effective senior commander of horse artillery. He was Moor’s brother-in-law, and it was Frazer’s papers that Moor had lent to Southey. BACK

[4] The British commander, Sir John Moore (1761–1809; DNB). After a highly controversial campaign, he was killed in battle at Corunna on 16 January 1809. Southey’s account concluded with the embarkation of the British forces after Moore’s death; see the History of the Peninsular War, 3 vols (London, 1823–1832), I, p. 806. BACK

[5] i.e. after Southey’s return from his continental tour in May–August 1817. BACK

[6] Catherine and Thomas Clarkson, neighbours of Moor’s in Suffolk. BACK

[7] The exiled Queen of Haiti, Marie-Louise Christophe (1778–1851), and her daughters, Françoise-Améthyste (1798–1831) and Anne-Athénaïre (1800–1839), were staying with the Clarksons at Playford Hall. Her husband, the ex-slave and revolutionary leader Henri Christophe (1767–1820; King of Haiti, 1811–1820), had committed suicide the previous year, faced with the collapse of his regime. Clarkson had carried out an extensive correspondence with Christophe and acted as his adviser on European affairs. He was instrumental in bringing Christophe’s family to Britain after the King’s death and helped arrange their financial affairs. They moved to Italy in 1824; neither daughter married. BACK

[8] Thomas Clarkson (1796–1837), son of Catherine and Thomas Clarkson. BACK

People mentioned

Places mentioned

Keswick (mentioned 2 times)