Mark Storey Robert Southey: A Life

ISBN 13: 9780198112464

Robert Southey: A Life

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Robert Southey was a figure of major importance on the literary and political scene from the 1790s to his death in 1843. He lived through the French Revolution, the Napoleonic wars, the dawn of the industrial age, and the coronation of Queen Victoria. He was the contemporary and friend of Coleridge and Wordsworth, admired and vilified by Byron and Hazlitt, and became the foremost man of letters of his day. Yet so far has his reputation been eclipsed by that of his better-known peers that we don't even know how to pronounce his name (to rhyme with "mouthey", as Byron joked). This biography tells the story of a complex and contradictory man, the mirror of his age, and sets him centre-stage to provide a fresh perspective on familiar events and figures of the Romantic period. From rebellious youth to middle-aged conservatism, Southey earned his living from his pen - reviews, histories, translations, biographies and of course poetry: epics and narratives of prodigious length as well as anthology favourites such as "The Cataract of Lodore". He also introduced the story of "The Three Bears" to English readers and was appointed Poet Laureate in 1813. He engaged with all the political debates of his day, from the Corn Laws to the slave trade, and he was a devoted family man. Infuriating though he could be, he supported Coleridge's family throughout his life, and survived personal tragedies and public scorn, to emerge in this biography as a man of real nobility and heroism.

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Review:

"This is a balanced and fair-minded book, well researched and written with a wit and pithiness"--David Nokes, Sunday Times "Solid and comprehensive."--Choice "This is a balanced and fair-minded book, well researched and written with a wit and pithiness"--David Nokes, Sunday Times "Solid and comprehensive."--Choice "This is a balanced and fair-minded book, well researched and written with a wit and pithiness"--David Nokes, Sunday Times "Solid and comprehensive."--Choice "This is a balanced and fair-minded book, well researched and written with a wit and pithiness"--David Nokes, Sunday Times "Solid and comprehensive."--Choice

About the Author:

Mark Storey is Professor of English Literature at the University of Birmingham.

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