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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Messrs. Longman and Co., 15 February 1817

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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“Keswick, Feb. 15, 1817.
“Dear Sirs,

“There is, unluckily, a very sufficient reason for not disclaiming Wat Tyler,—which is, that I wrote it three-and-twenty years ago.

“It was the work, or rather the sport, of a week in the summer of 1794: poor Lovel took it to London, and put it into Ridgeway’s hands, who was then in Newgate. Some weeks afterwards I went to London and saw Ridgeway about it; Symonds was with him, and they agreed to publish it: (I believe, or rather I am sure, the publication was to have been anonymous), and what remuneration I was to have was left to themselves, as dependent upon the sale. This was the substance of our conversation; for nothing but words passed between us. From that time till the present, I never heard of the work: they of course, upon better judgment, thought it better left alone; and I, with the carelessness of a man who has never thought of consequences, made no inquiry for the manuscript. How it has got to the press, or by whose means, I know not.

“The motive for publication is sufficiently plain. But the editor, whoever he may be, has very much mistaken his man. In those times and at that age, and in the circumstances wherein I was placed, it was just as natural that I should be a Republican, and as proper, as that now, with the same feelings, the same principles and the same integrity, when
three-and-twenty years have added so much to the experience of mankind, as well as matured my own individual intellect, I should think revolution the greatest of all calamities, and believe that the best way of ameliorating the condition of the people is through the established institutions of the country.

“The booksellers must be disreputable men, or they would not have published a work under such circumstances. I just feel sufficient anger to wish that they may be prosecuted for sedition.

“I would write to Turner, if my table were not at this time covered with letters; perhaps if you see him you will ask his opinion upon the matter,—whether it be better to interfere, or let it take its course.

Yours very truly,
R. Southey.”