2958. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 28 March 1817

2958. Robert Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 28 March 1817⁠* 

Dear G.

Wordsworth & his wife are just come in – I have only time to say that I am writing what you desire in the form of a Letter to Wm Smith, [1]  to be published by Murray (tell the Grand Bibliopole this–) – or else xx the Letter to the said Smith will be an Epistle Dedicatory – which is not yet certain; – only this is certain – that the said Letter will give the said Smith the belly ache –

in haste


Friday. Mar 28. 1817.

I hope you have not printed the letter I sent you. [2]  It had better be suppressed. Wynns absence from London [3]  has occasioned this change of plan. [4] 


* Address: To/ G. C. Bedford Esqre/ Exchequer/ Westminster
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: E/ 31 MR 31/ 1817
Endorsement: 28 March 1817/ recd 31. March. Wrote same day
MS: Bodleian Library, MS Eng. Lett. d. 47. ALS; 2p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] This plan cohered into the pamphlet that Southey published with Murray at the end of April: A Letter to William Smith, Esq., MP. (1817). BACK

[2] Southey to Grosvenor Charles Bedford, 23 March 1817 (Letter 2952). This contained a fair copy of Southey to the Editor of the Courier, [19 March 1817] (Letter 2946) and sought Bedford’s advice on whether this letter should be published. BACK

[3] Wynn had been visiting Norton Priory, Warrington, the home of Sir Richard Brooke (1785–1865), who was married to Harriot Cunliffe (d. 1825), the sister of Wynn’s wife. BACK

[4] Southey had written two letters which he originally planned to publish in the Courier: Southey to William Smith, 17 March 1817 (Letter 2943) and Southey to the Editor of the Courier [19 March 1817] (Letter 2946). These two letters were sent to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, on 17 and 19 March 1817 (Letters 2944 and 2948), for him to forward to the newspaper. In the event, Wynn’s absence from home had led to a delay in his receiving the letters. By the time he did so, the public debate had moved on and Southey therefore decided not to publish them in the Courier, but instead to incorporate them into his pamphlet A Letter to William Smith, Esq., M.P. (1817). BACK

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