LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey
Robert Southey to Neville White, 7 April 1807

Vol. I Contents
Early Life: I
Early Life: II
Early Life: III
Early Life: IV
Early Life: V
Early Life: VI
Early Life: VII
Early Life: VIII
Early Life: IX
Early Life: X
Early Life: XI
Early Life: XII
Early Life: XIII
Early Life: XIV
Early Life: XV
Early Life: XVI
Early Life: XVII
Ch. I. 1791-93
Ch. II. 1794
Ch. III. 1794-95
Ch. IV. 1796
Ch. V. 1797
Vol. II Contents
Ch. VI. 1799-1800
Ch. VII. 1800-1801
Ch. VIII. 1801
Ch. IX. 1802-03
Ch. X. 1804
Ch. XI. 1804-1805
Vol. III Contents
Ch. XII. 1806
Ch. XIII. 1807
Ch. XIV. 1808
Ch. XV. 1809
Ch. XVI. 1810-1811
Ch. XVII. 1812
Vol. IV Contents
Ch. XVIII. 1813
Ch. XIX. 1814-1815
Ch. XX. 1815-1816
Ch. XXI. 1816
Ch. XXII. 1817
Ch. XXIII. 1818
Ch. XXIV. 1818-1819
Vol. IV Appendix
Vol. V Contents
Ch. XXV. 1820-1821
Ch. XXVI. 1821
Ch. XXVII. 1822-1823
Ch. XXVIII. 1824-1825
Ch. XXIX. 1825-1826
Ch. XXX. 1826-1827
Ch. XXXI. 1827-1828
Vol. V Appendix
Vol. VI Contents
Ch. XXXII. 1829
Ch. XXXIII. 1830
Ch. XXXIV. 1830-1831
Ch. XXXV. 1832-1834
Ch. XXXVI. 1834-1836
Ch. XXXVII. 1836-1837
Ch. XXXVIII. 1837-1843
Vol. VI Appendix
Creative Commons License

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH
“April 7. 1807.
“My dear Sir,

“. . . . . The preliminary account is nearly finished, I have inserted in it such poems as seem best suited to that place, because they refer to Henry’s then state of mind, and thus derive an interest from the narrative, and in their turn give it also. After the introduction I purpose to insert a selection of his letters, or rather of extracts from them, in chronological order. Upon mature consideration, and upon trial as well, I believe this to be better than inserting them in the account of his life. If the reader feel for Henry that love and admiration which I have endeavoured to make him feel, he will be prepared to receive these epistolary fragments as the most authentic and most valuable species of biography; and if he does not feel that love, it is no matter how he receives them, for his heart will be in fault, and his understanding necessarily darkened.

“I have, to the best of my judgment, omitted every thing of which the publication could occasion even the slightest unpleasant feeling to any person whatever; and if any thing of this kind has escaped me, you will, of course, consider your own opinion as decisive, and omit it accordingly, without any regard to mine. Assuredly we will not offend the feelings of any one; but there are many passages which, though they can give no pain to an individual, you
perhaps may think will not interest the public. If this fear come across you, take up
Chatterton’s letters to his mother and sister, and see if the very passages which will excite in you the greatest interest are not of the individual and individualising character, and then remember that Henry’s is to be a name equally dear to the generation which will come after us. . . . .

“My heart has often ached during this employment.

Yours very truly and respectfully,
Robert Southey.”