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Robert Southey collection

Call Number: MS P295


This collection consists of 2 letters by English Romantic poet Robert Southey (1774-1843), collected from various sources by Spencer Research Library staff.


  • 1797, 1834


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of Robert Southey (1774-1843)

Robert Southey, the son of Robert and Margaret Hill Southey, spent most of his upbringing with an aunt, Elizabeth Tyler, in Bath, England, or at boarding schools. A voracious reader from an early age, he enrolled in Balliol College, Oxford University in 1793, initially studying religion at the request of his uncle Matthew Hill. He later switched his studies to law, though he never practiced.

Southey met Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 1794, a friendship that had ebbs and flows throughout their lives. In 1796, Southey traveled to Portugal, which led to the publication of his first prose work, Letters Written During a Short Residence in Spain and Portugal (1797). By this point he had already published a volume of poetry with Robert Lovell, Poems (1795) and the epic Joan of Arc (1796, revised 1798).

In 1803, Southey moved with his wife Edith Fricker (1774-1837) to Samuel Taylor Coleridge's home at Greta Hall in Keswick, the Lake District of England. The Southeys remained there the rest of their lives. Southey continued to produce poetry, including verse based on various mythologies. He also wrote literary reviews, histories, and travelogues. He served as translator and textual editor, including for Portuguese and Spanish works. Letters from England (1807) is a fictionalized epistolary satire and travelogue produced by Southey as "Don Manuel Alvarez Espriella." His histories included History of Brazil (3 volumes published between 1810-1819) and History of the Peninsular War (1823-1832), among other works.

In 1813 Southey was appointed poet laureate, a title he kept until his death in 1843.

[Information retrieved from the Poetry Foundation,]


2 folders

Physical Location

MS P295

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Item 2: gift, William P. Albrecht, 1971.

Guide to the Robert Southey Collection
Robert Southey collection
Finding aid prepared by alh, 1971. Finding aid encoded by mwh, 2020.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Robert Southey collection, MS P295, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States