2490. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 19 October 1814

2490. Robert Southey to John Rickman, 19 October 1814 ⁠* 

My dear R.

The inclosed is to a Dane who is about to translate the Life of Nelson into his own language. [1] 

I will hunt out something for you respecting the Beguines, & shall be right glad if you resume a subject from which great good may arise: In 1803 they existed at Breda & at Antwerp – It is not likely that they should have been abolished since that time, & as they existed in those two cities, – it is probable that thr[MS torn] other establishments existed also. I should think that there would be a full account of their Institutes in Helyots ‘Ordres Monastiques” [2]  – a book easily met with.

Some valuable Brazilian matter has just reached me in the Rio Janeiro Magazine, [3]  & in the Jornal de Coimbra. [4]  I am working tooth & nail upon this subject. [5] 

God bless you


19 Oct. 1814


* Address: To/ John Rickman Esqre/ St Stephens Court/ New Palace Yard/ Westminster
Endorsement: RS./ 19 Octr. 1814
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: FREE/ 22 OC 22/ 1814
MS: Huntington Library, RS 235. ALS; 2p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Andreas Andersen Feldborg. His A Tour in Zealand, the Year 1802; with an Historical Sketch of the Battle of Copenhagen (1805) had supplied details for Southey’s Life of Nelson (1813); see Southey to Thomas Southey, 24 December 1812, Letter 2192. Feldborg had written to Southey and in return Southey had sent him copies of the second (1814) edition of the Life and of The Origin, Nature and Object, of the New System of Education (1812); see Southey to John Murray, 19 October 1814, Letter 2489. Feldborg’s translation does not seem to have been published. BACK

[2] Pierre Helyot (1660–1716), Histoire des Ordres Monastiques, Religieux et Militaires (1714–1721). Southey owned an 8 volume edition of 1792, no. 1183 in the sale catalogue of his library; vols 1, 3 and 8 contained sections on the Beguines. The Beguines were medieval communities of lay women in the Low Countries. Rickman was interested in them as models for his proposed communities of poor single women who would live and work together. BACK

[3] O Patriota, Jornal Litterario, Politico, Mercantil &c do Rio de Janeiro (1813–1814), no. 3641 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. BACK

[4] Southey owned an eight-volume set of the Jornal de Coimbra (1812–1820), no. 3498 in the sale catalogue of his library. BACK

[5] i.e. on the second volume of his History of Brazil, published in 1817. BACK

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