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The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Joseph Cottle, 22 September 1799

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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“Exeter, Sept. 22. 1799.
“My dear Cottle,

“You will, I hope, soon have a cargo to send me of your own (for the 2d vol. of the Anthology), and some from Davy. If poor Mrs. Yearsley were well, I should like much to have her name there. . . . . As yet, I have only Coleridge’s pieces and my own, amounting in the whole to some eighty or one hundred pages.

Thalaba the Destroyer is progressive. There is a poem called ‘Gebir,’ of which I know not whether my review be yet printed (in the Critical), but in that review you will find some of the most exquisite poetry in the language. The poem is such as Gilbert*, if he were only half as mad as he is, could have written. I would go an hundred miles to see the anonymous author.

* Author of “The Hurricane.”


“My other hard work now is gutting the libraries here, and laying in a good stock of notes and materials, arranged in a way that would do honour to any old batchelor. Thalaba will be very rich in notes. . . . .

“There are some Johnobines in Exeter, with whom I have passed some pleasant days. It is the filthiest place in England; a gutter running down the middle of every street and lane. We leave it on Monday week, and I shall rejoice to taste fresh air and feel settled. Exeter, however, has the very best collection of books for sale of any place out of London; and that made by a man who some few years back was worth nothing: Dyer,—not Woolmer, whose catalogue you showed me. Dyer himself is a thinking, extraordinary man, of liberal and extraordinary talents for his circumstances. I congratulate you on being out of bookselling; it did not suit you. Would that we authors had one bookseller at our direction, instead of one bookseller directing so many authors!

“My list of title-pages increases. I have lately made up my mind to undertake one great historical work, the History of Portugal; but for this, and for many other noble plans, I want uninterrupted leisure time, wholly my own, and not frittered away by little periodical employments. . . . .

“God bless you.

Yours affectionately,
Robert Southey.”