Robert Southey: Entire Man of Letters by W A Speck - review by Adam Sisman

Adam Sisman

Poesy & Apostasy

Robert Southey: Entire Man of Letters


Yale University Press 326pp £25 order from our bookshop

Almost everyone knows the name of Robert Southey, though few of us can recall a single line of his poetry. Much admired in his lifetime, he is now rarely read. He is remembered largely as the associate of William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge: a fact that would probably have astonished and certainly have enraged him. 

He was born in 1774, the son of a Bristol linen-draper who would become bankrupt while Southey was still at school and died soon after. Much of his childhood was spent in the company of his Aunt Tyler, a wealthy spinster who insisted that he share her bed, remaining still

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

The Incomparible Monsignor

Kafka Drawings

Follow Literary Review on Twitter