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Robert Southey
Author: William Allen Speck

ISBN: 9780300197679
Format: Paperback
Number Of Pages: 342
Published: 25 June 2006
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.6 x 1.8
In his lifetime Robert Southey was very much the equal of his fellow 'Lake poets', Coleridge and Wordsworth. But since his death his reputation has been overshadowed by their success. In this new biography W. A. Speck argues that if Southey's poetry is no longer considered as significant, his other writings were more salient and his political views far more influential than those of his fellow poets. He was, as Byron conceded, England's 'only existing entire man of letters'. The book engages with Southey's voluminous publications, weaving discussion of them into the narrative of his life. It shows how he moved from self-confessed republican and admirer of the French Revolution in the 1790s, to 'the most powerful literary supporter of the tories' by the 1820s. It shows how, unhappy in his personal life, Southey sought intellectual and emotional fulfillment outside his tepid marriage, first from Mary Barker, and then from Caroline Bowles who became his second wife. Speck has explored Southey's full correspondence, not simply that which appeared in the editions edited by his descendants, and the letters reveal a man of considerably greater emotional complexity than previously as...

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