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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Herbert Hill, 31 December 1811

Vol. I Contents
Early Life: I
Early Life: II
Early Life: III
Early Life: IV
Early Life: V
Early Life: VI
Early Life: VII
Early Life: VIII
Early Life: IX
Early Life: X
Early Life: XI
Early Life: XII
Early Life: XIII
Early Life: XIV
Early Life: XV
Early Life: XVI
Early Life: XVII
Ch. I. 1791-93
Ch. II. 1794
Ch. III. 1794-95
Ch. IV. 1796
Ch. V. 1797
Vol. II Contents
Ch. VI. 1799-1800
Ch. VII. 1800-1801
Ch. VIII. 1801
Ch. IX. 1802-03
Ch. X. 1804
Ch. XI. 1804-1805
Vol. III Contents
Ch. XII. 1806
Ch. XIII. 1807
Ch. XIV. 1808
Ch. XV. 1809
Ch. XVI. 1810-1811
Ch. XVII. 1812
Vol. IV Contents
Ch. XVIII. 1813
Ch. XIX. 1814-1815
Ch. XX. 1815-1816
Ch. XXI. 1816
Ch. XXII. 1817
Ch. XXIII. 1818
Ch. XXIV. 1818-1819
Vol. IV Appendix
Vol. V Contents
Ch. XXV. 1820-1821
Ch. XXVI. 1821
Ch. XXVII. 1822-1823
Ch. XXVIII. 1824-1825
Ch. XXIX. 1825-1826
Ch. XXX. 1826-1827
Ch. XXXI. 1827-1828
Vol. V Appendix
Vol. VI Contents
Ch. XXXII. 1829
Ch. XXXIII. 1830
Ch. XXXIV. 1830-1831
Ch. XXXV. 1832-1834
Ch. XXXVI. 1834-1836
Ch. XXXVII. 1836-1837
Ch. XXXVIII. 1837-1843
Vol. VI Appendix
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“Dec. 31. 1811.
“My dear Uncle,

“The hint which I threw out concerning our English martyrs in writing upon the evangelical sects is likely to mature into something of importance. I conceived a plan which Dr. Bell and the Bishop of Meath took up warmly, and the former has in some degree bound me to execute it by sending down Fox’s Book of Martyrs as soon as he reached London. The projected outline is briefly this—Under the title of the Book of the Church, to give what should be at once the philosophy and the anthology of our church history, so written as to be addressed to the hearts of the young and the understandings of the old; for it will be placed on the establishment of the national schools. It begins with an account of the various false religions of our different ancestors, British, Roman, and Saxon, with the mischievous temporal consequences of those superstitions, being the evils from which the country was delivered by its conversion to Christianity. 2dly, A picture of popery and the evils from which the Reformation delivered us.
Ætat. 38. OF ROBERT SOUTHEY. 321
3dly, Puritanism rampant, from which the restoration of the church rescued us. Lastly, Methodism, from which the Establishment preserves us. These parts to be connected by an historical thread, containing whatever is most impressive in the acts and monuments of the English church. How beautiful a work may be composed upon such a plan (which from its very nature excludes whatever is uninviting or tedious) you will at once perceive. The civil history would form a companion work upon a similar plan, called the Book of the Constitution, showing the gradual but uniform amelioration of society; and the direct object of both would be to make the rising generation feel and understand the blessings of their inheritance. . . . .

“I am well stored with materials, having all the republished chronicles and Hooker—the only controversial work which it will be at all necessary to consult. The other books which I want I have ordered: they are Burnett and the Church Histories of Fuller, and of the stiff old non-juror, Jeremy Collier. I will send the manuscript to you before it goes to the press, for it will require an inspecting eye. Meantime, if any thing occur to you which would correct or improve the plan, such as you here see it, do not omit to communicate your advice and opinion. I have a strong persuasion that both these works may be made of great, extensive, and permanent usefulness. . . . .

R. S.”