2851. Robert Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, 11 October 1816

2851. Robert Southey to Charles Watkin Williams Wynn, 11 October 1816⁠* 

My dear Wynn

I send you the first section of Oliver Newman. [1]  The train of thought belonging to it had long dormant, but in talking upon the subject with you, & now in transcribing this opening scene they are wakened up. – the plan which was originally [MS torn]tchd six years ago is now pretty well matured, – & I shall very probably soon resume [MS torn] in good earnest. [2]  – I hope it will not fall short of my former poems in interest or in execution. – & believe it will be the last of any length that I shall undertake of any length

Your letter requires a longer reply than I can now afford to give it. I believe that transportation is the proper punishment for seditious libel, – that any other is ridiculously inefficient, – & that unless this is resorted to, the worst consequences are to be apprehended, & that at no distant time.

My booksellers accounts have improved, – for the first time there is a balance in my favour in Longmans hands. Another year may enable me to pay off old debts, & xx begin to lay by. – Roderick has done this for me, & the Pilgrimage also has done well. [3]  An edition of 2000 sold in two months giving me a profit of 215£. Perhaps in another year I may be able to give up reviewing, which most assuredly I shall do as soon as I can afford it.

God bless you


11 Oct. 1816.


* Address: To/ C W Williams Wynn Esqre M.P./ Llangedwin/ near/ Oswestry
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
MS: National Library of Wales, MS 4812D. ALS; 2p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] The first book of Southey’s unfinished epic ‘Oliver Newman’. This had been completed in February 1815, but no further progress on the poem had been made. BACK

[2] Southey had made detailed notes and a plan of the poem, dated 19 January 1811; now in the Bodleian Library. BACK

[3] Roderick, the Last of the Goths (1814); and The Poet’s Pilgrimage to Waterloo (1816). BACK

People mentioned


JSON What's this?
As you're browsing RC, you might see small buttons scattered on various pages. These buttons let you download that page's content in a ready-to-use data file! Learn more on our RC Data page.