2864. Robert Southey to John Murray, 17 November 1816

2864. Robert Southey to John Murray, 17 November 1816⁠* 

Keswick. 17 Nov. 1816

My dear Sir

Mr Gifford has transmitted me a draft for 105£ for Nos 1&12. Q.R. [1]  But of the half dozen subjects which you proposed to me at 100£ each, the Works on England are one. – If the sum is more than it may suit the Review to pay in future, – you have only to tell me so, & I shall direct my attention to other things. The four xxxx <remaining> subjects are the West Indies (which you afterwards precluded when my reading for it was completed, [2] ) – Mariner & the S Seas [3]  (which Mr Gifford desires me to postpone as interfering with a paper of Mr Barrows) [4]  – George 3, [5]  – & the manners &c of the Hindoos. [6]  I shall touch neither so long until I hear from you. There would be no difficulty in finding subjects “of great pith & moment” [7] ad infinitum: but whether I might not employ myself more advantageously with regard to permanent reputation, & not less so as to immediate advantage is a different question.

I shall return the Spanish manuscript [8]  tomorrow. It is highly curious & I sincerely hopex it will be printed. If it be translated there are some parts which must be suppressed, & others altered for the sake of decency.

Believe me my dear Sir

yrs very truly

R Southey.


* Address: To/ John Murray Esqr/ Albemarle Street/ London
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: E/ 20 NO 20/ 1816
Watermark: HAGAR & HODGSON/ 1815
Endorsement: 1816 Nov 17/ Southey, Rob
MS: National Library of Scotland, MS 42551. ALS; 2p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] In Quarterly Review, 15 (July 1816), 299–345, Southey reviewed Domingo Badia y Leblich (1766–1818), Travels of Ali Bey in Morocco, Tripoli, Cyprus, Egypt, Arabia, Syria, and Turkey, Between the Years 1803 and 1807 (1816) and at 537–574, a series of volumes by travellers in England, under the title ‘Works on England’. These articles were numbers 1 and 12 respectively in this issue of the Quarterly Review. BACK

[2] On Murray’s decision that Southey could not write concerning slavery in the West Indies, given his abolitionist views, see Robert Southey to John Murray, 24 August 1816, Letter 2831. BACK

[3] Southey reviewed, among other books on the Tonga islands, John Martin (1789–1869; DNB), An Account of the Natives of the Tonga Islands, in the South Pacific Ocean, with an Original Grammar and Vocabulary of their Language (1817) in Quarterly Review, 17 (April 1817), 1–39. This book told the story of the ship’s boy William Mariner (1791–1853) who lived in the Tonga islands from 1806 to 1810 after the local people attacked his ship and killed his crewmates. BACK

[4] Sir John Barrow, 1st Baronet (1764–1848; DNB), Second Secretary to the Admiralty 1804–1806, 1807–1845 and reviewer for the Quarterly Review. The paper for which Southey’s was delayed was possibly Barrow’s discussion of Archibald Campbell (b. 1787), A Voyage Round the World, from 1806 to 1812 (1816), published in Quarterly Review, 16 (October 1816), 69–85. BACK

[5] John Aikin, Annals of the Reign of King George III (1816) was not reviewed by Southey in the Quarterly Review. The book was no. 20 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. BACK

[6] Southey did not author a review on this topic in the Quarterly Review. BACK

[7] Hamlet, Act 3, scene 1, line 87. BACK

[8] Juan Antonio Llorente (1756–1823), Histoire Critique de l’Inquisition d’Espagne (1817–1818), no. 1738 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. Llorente was Secretary-General to the Inquisition at Madrid 1789–1794, but supported the French-backed regime of 1808–1813 and was given control of the Inquisition’s archive. Murray had asked Southey’s opinion on whether the book should be translated into English, but no English translation appeared until 1826. BACK

People mentioned

Gifford, William (1756–1826) (mentioned 2 times)

Places mentioned

Keswick (mentioned 1 time)