Robert Southey

 

Robert Southey, the poet, toured North Wales with Charles Watkin Williams Wynn in 1801.  Sarah and Eleanor had introduced his Joan of Arc to Anna Seward, but, as one biographer noted of the trip, Southey merely went past Llangollen (whose Ladies he was unkind enough not to visit)”. 

      In 1811, however, he not only visited, his party was entertained at Plas Newydd.  The Hamwood Papers includes his letter of thanks.

“Greta Hall, Keswick

     October 13th, 1811

Mr. Southey has deferred his thanks to the Ladies of Llangollen for the pleasure which he received in seeing the elegancies and partaking the hospitalities of their delightful retirement, till he could send them a poem upon which he is at present employed, long enough to be a specimen of its tone and manner and entire enough not to be injured by being seen as a fragment.  This portion has been written since his return, and was not completed till yesterday morning.  The ‘Roderick’ who appears in it is the hero of Walter Scott’s vision.  It will easily be seen that the author has written under a strong feeling of sympathy with the Spaniards in their present struggle.
       Mrs. Southey joins him in respectful compliments and thanks.” [pp. 344-345]

Edith Southey, née Fricker, was a sister of Coleridge’s wife.

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