Slated back to the mid 18th to 19 century, most of the English Romantics were either a poet or a prose writer. On the other hand, Robert Southey chose to be both and more in the world of literature. Entitled as one of the most versatile, Robert Southey produced so many classics.
Starting as a poet turned poet laureate, he went on to publishing classics, romance, ballads, plays, dramas, eclogues, sonnets and even miscellaneous lyrics. Speaking about his work on prose, he mostly infused history, dialogues, myriad of fiction, autobiography, anecdote and even omnium-gatherum (segmentally classified).
There is no restriction to his writing of prose. He even included travelogues, essays, reviews and more. All in over, entitled as human encyclopedia, his writings have natural magic. Coleridge quoted him to be the man of letters.
How Southey’s prose brought a difference?
- Speaking on a general note, commonly Southey’s prose was superior to his words. His projects have been proved to be versatile.
- His classic works were largely one of his last pegs. On the other hand, his prose works did justice in a similar way to William Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads in 1798.
- The difference here was, they opposed depicting a new style of republican planners and mutual consent for empirical facts.
- Such a format of writing could be nondescriptive. Rather it is to the point, down to the ear and effortlessly virtue.
- Southey’s poetry is rich in Te Sermo Pedestrians, engaging the reader about innovation, ideas and surpassed learning.
- The rising popularity of Wordsworth’s association with Samuel Taylor Coleridge on the Lyrical Ballads was to another peak. It ensured the friendship venture which is well acclaimed in Coleridge’s biography.
- For a fact, this friendship helped in the curation of Wordsworth’s Romantic Circle. Speaking of Wordsworth’s long-lasting friendship with Laker Robert Southey become encyclopedic England’s poet laureate from 1813 to his has days in 1843.
The Correlation Between Wordsworth and Southey
Back in 1795, Wordsworth met Southey and Coleridge for a republican even. The initial ground of friendship with the latter did have its setbacks – oh-not-so good review of Lyrical Ballads. Offended Wordsworth was concerned about the sales of their book.
About Robert Southey
Born in Bristol on 2nd August 1774, Robert Southey was the oldest to survive. During his childhood, he was forced to stay with his dominating aunt, Elizabeth Tyler followed by a stricter boarding school.
Right at an early age, Southey acquired the habit of suppressing his feelings and emotions. It was almost wearing a mask to be happy go lucky.
He was always a keen reader of William Shakespeare and Francis Beaumont, also John Fletcher.
Garnering more experiences and emotions to literature, there followed ideas of Renaissance epics. This included John Milton, Luiz de Camões, Ludovico Ariosto and Edward Gibbon.
During his teenage years, he delved into reading Edward Gibbon, Thomas Paine, William Godwin and other greater orators for Human Emancipation.
At an early age, he commenced off with plays, epics and even incidental verse. Studying at Westminster public school in London, Robert infused languishment in the school authorities.
He published a “contumacious” satire representing corporal punishment. What he mentioned in the school newspaper led him to expel his school.
His emotional crisis has been huge. The suicidal death of his father, extreme emotional crisis and bankruptcy took a toll on him. He overcame the thought by reading through Epictetus and more.
His College Days
Back in 1793, Robert Southey enrolled at Balliol College at Oxford University under the orders of his maternal uncle. By these passing years, he already became intellectual of his age.
Being at the odds with Church dogma and the Establishment, with the politics happening all inside, he had to opt-out from the university after two terms.
During his period, he coordinated with Edith Fricker in late 1973 and married her on 14th November 1795. A devoted wife and mother of his children for 40 years or more, she lost her life in 1837.
His second was Coleridge, a college senior of Southey, she was almost the same as him. A growing poet, leading republican and avid revolutionary traveller. Both of them established a plan on “Pantisocracy” (equal rule of all) representing communal property.
The scheme failed due to a lack of funding and personal drawbacks between the two. The friendship was over because of betrayal.
A Little Verse Of His Works
In the first of 1796, Southey published Letters Written During a Short Residence in Spain and Portugal. It was hefty and mindboggling work for 5 months.
Before that, he had already published a collection of pieces and proses with his fellow mate Pantisocrat Robert Lovell.
He gained recognition with Joan of Arc in 1796. He worked on plays with Coleridge – The Fall of Robespierre (1794), and the “notorious Wat Tyler”
When he returned to England and his first wife in 1796, Southey and his wife went on to reading the law. He discovered it was not for him.
Post this, Southey published many lyrical verses in the form of ecologues, monodramas, sonnets, odes and poems. He even wrote ballads speaking about crime, guilt, social dispute and supernaturals.
One of his first planned mythological romances is Thalaba the Destroyer in 1801. He described Islam through a young Moslem champion’s struggle.
In 1803, he still considered himself a poet. His initial stays at Keswick gave a final call to get him occupied with Madoc in Wales and Madoc at Aztlan. It spoke about barbarism, superstition and even Christian civilization.
Published in 1810, The Curse of Kehama is another mythological romance on Hinduism.
His third and final epic series slated in 1814 was Roderick, the Last of the Goth. It features Visigothic Kindom’s fall.
In the last 3 decades of his life, Southey became a scholar and essayist. More than a poet, he showcases the emergence of a conversation out of a republican.
When talking about Robert Southey, the pages will keep passing by. His travelogues and journals based similarity. It concocted on paraphrasing and direct quotation. He infused his personal experiences and emotions through theoretical principles. He kept books and writings his sole source of income. One of the best achievements on essays was “The Life Of Nelson” in 1893.