3693. Robert Southey to John Murray, 11 June 1821

3693. Robert Southey to John Murray, 11 June 1821⁠* 

Keswick. 11 June. 1821.

My dear Sir

I have sent off the conclusion of O Cromwell, [1]  – an article in which I only regretted that the limits of a review did not allow me to make it as long again. The proofs which are here I will not return, till the remainder reaches me, that I may have opportunity to introduce a notice from Thomas Cromwells book, which if it you should send it in time. [2]  Let me also have a compleat set of the proofs for my own use, & with them the proofs of the S. S. [3]  & the New Churches. [4] 

I am very glad you think of the Memoirs, – an undertaking useful to the country, & honourable to you. [5]  I will put down such names as I can call to mind, but I am by no means competent to making out a list, – a great many which I wish to read have not yet fallen in my way, & doubtless there are others of which I have never heard. But there will be no difficulty in forming a compleat one with such friends as you have to consult with, – Sir Walter Scott, Heber, D’Israeli &c. There are also some unpublished memoirs which you might find means of obtaining, & which would greatly enhance the value of the collection. – I have in my possession a Portugueze MS.S. to the purpose, – an account by the Portugueze Ambassadors in this country of the negociation for Charles the seconds marriage, – with the intrigues & counter intrigues which attended it, – a very curious account it is. [6] 

Pray, pray, learn if any more of the History of the Spanish War by the Commission of Officers at Madrid, has been published than the first volume of which you sent me the French translation in 1818. If there be any more, it is of main importance that I should have it without delay, for I am now just arrived at that part where it would be most useful & advantageous to have it before me. [7]  I wish also very much for ‘a History of the war in Catalonia’; & “Anecdotes of the Leaders in the Catalonian war”, in Spanish, both by Francisco de Olivarez, published in 1815–16, – as I learn from a Magazine. [8]  These books will give me precisely that information in which I am most deficient at present.

I am in full activity for you at this time, – inter alia preparing for a paper upon Brazil & Portugal. [9]  There is no reason why it should kept back a la mode the Edinburgh, [10]  waiting for results, – because I should be heartily rejoiced if all the apprehensions which I have to express were to prove vain, & the evils which I anticipate could be averted. I know it is in my power to give that information upon the subject without which no person can form an opinion upon sure grounds.

Believe me my dear Sir

Yrs very truly

Robert Southey.

Did I ever tell you that the Article upon Portugueze Literature in your second number, was translated into Portugueze by one of the Censors of the Press at Lisbon, & printed at his expence at Hamburgh for private circulation in Portugal, where he could not license it for the press, nor allow it to be publicly sold. [11] 


* Address: To/ John Murray Esqre.
Stamped: KESWICK/ 298
Postmark: [partial] E/ JN/ 1821
Watermark: G PAINE/ 1816
Endorsement: R. Southey Esq/ June 11. 1821
MS: National Library of Scotland, MS 42552. ALS; 4p.
Unpublished. BACK

[1] Southey’s ‘Life of Cromwell’, Quarterly Review, 25 (July 1821), 279–347. BACK

[2] Thomas Cromwell (1792–1870; DNB), Oliver Cromwell and His Times (1821). BACK

[3] The preacher and religious writer William Huntington (1745–1813; DNB) had added ‘S.S.’ – ‘Sinner Saved’ – to his name to indicate his spiritual state. Southey’s review of The Works of the Reverend William Huntington, S. S. Minister of the Gospel, at Providence Chapel, Gray’s Inn Lane, Completed to the Close of the Year 1806 (1811) had appeared in Quarterly Review, 24 (January 1821), 462–510. BACK

[4] Southey’s review of Benjamin Haydon, New Churches, Considered with Respect to the Opportunities they Offer for the Encouragement of Painting (1818) and other volumes had appeared in Quarterly Review, 23 (July 1820), 549–591. BACK

[5] Murray was thinking of publishing a collection of historical memoirs of leading British figures. BACK

[6] Charles II (1630–1685; King of Great Britain 1660–1685; DNB) had married the Portuguese princess Catherine of Braganza (1638–1705; DNB) on 21 May 1662. The manuscript account of the marriage negotiations Southey mentions here was no. 3857 in the sale catalogue of his library. The leading figure on the Portuguese side in the marriage negotiations was Francisco de Melo e Torres (c. 1610–1667). BACK

[7] Histoire de la Guerre d’Espagne contre Napoleon Buonaparte, Par une Commission d’Officiers de Toutes Armes Établie a Madrid, Auprès de S. Ex. Le Ministre de la Guerre; Traduite de l’Espanol, Avec Notes et Éclaircissemens (1818). BACK

[8] ‘On Spanish Literature, with some Account of Francisco de Olivarez’, New Monthly Magazine, 10 (October 1818), 221–223, mentioned Olivarez’s Account of the War in Catalonia (1815), and Anecdotes of Chiefs Employed in the Catalan War (1816). However, neither book seems to exist. BACK

[9] Southey did not write an article on Brazil and Portugal at this time. The subject was topical as an army revolt in Porto in August 1820 had led to the election of a Cortes in December 1820 and demands that the monarchy return from Brazil, where it had fled in 1807–1808, following the French invasion. Events in Portugal produced a number of sympathetic military revolts in Brazil; one in the Province of Para was reported in The Times, 13 March 1821. These developments eventually led to the separation of Portugal and Brazil in September 1822; but Brazil did not become a republic until 1889, nor did it disintegrate, as Southey feared. BACK

[10] The Edinburgh Review (1802–1929), the main Whig quarterly journal. BACK

[11] Southey’s review of Extractos em Portuguez e em Inglez; com as Palavras Portuguezas Propriamente Accentuadas, para Facilitar o Estudo d’Aquella Lingoa (1808) in Quarterly Review, 1 (May 1809), 268–292. The translator was Johann Wilhelm Christian Muller (1752–1814), Dutch convert to Catholicism and Royal Censor of Books. Muller translated the article from the Quarterly as Memoria sobre a Literatura Portugueza. Traduzida do Inglez. Com Notas Illustradoras do Texto (1809). BACK

People mentioned

Scott, Walter (1771–1832) (mentioned 1 time)
Heber, Richard (1774–1833) (mentioned 1 time)

Places mentioned

Keswick (mentioned 1 time)


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