3652. Robert Southey to Messrs Longman &c, 14 March 1821

3652. Robert Southey to Messrs Longman &c, 14 March 1821⁠* 

Keswick. 14 March. 1821

Dear Sir

Herewith you will receive “the Expedition of Orsua & the Crimes of Lope de Aguirre”. [1]  There was no hope of obtaining Oviedo y Baños, [2]  & therefore it was useless to delay it longer on that account.

If you print it like the Life of Nelson [3]  it will make a volume of about 250 pages. The whole copy is sent, & patched & pieced as it is the compositor will find little difficulty in putting every thing in its proper place.

When you announce it, it may be well to say, “the Crimes & Adventures of Lope de Aguirre form one of the most dramatic episodes in the history of the Spanish conquests.”

Humboldt [4] 

The proofs may come to me thro Mr Rickman.

Yrs very truly

Robert Southey.


* Address: To/ Messrs Longman &c –
Endorsement: Southeys/ Expedition of Orgua/ & the Crimes of Lope/ Arguirre
MS: Pforzheimer Collection, New York Public Library, B’ANA 0691. ALS; 2p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Southey’s The Expedition of Orsua; and the Crimes of Aguirre (1821), originally intended to be part of the History of Brazil (1810–1819) and first published in Edinburgh Annual Register, for 1810, 3.2 (1812), i–l. BACK

[2] José de Oviedo y Baños (1671–1738), Historia de la Conquista y Población de la Provincia de Venezuela (1723). Southey did eventually obtain a copy, no. 3605 in the sale catalogue of his library. BACK

[3] In duodecimo, like the format of the second edition of Southey’s Life of Nelson (1814). The Expedition of Orsua (1821) was published in duodecimo, but it only ran to 215 pages. BACK

[4] Alexander von Humboldt (1769–1859), Personal Narrative of Travels to the Equinoctial Regions of the New Continent, During the Years 1790–1804, 6 vols (London, 1814–1826), IV, p. 192, no. 1463 in the sale catalogue of Southey’s library. Longman used this quotation as the basis for its advertising; see, for example, Gentleman’s Magazine, 91 (March 1821), 255. BACK

People mentioned

Rickman, John (1771–1840) (mentioned 1 time)

Places mentioned

Keswick (mentioned 1 time)