London: Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts, & Green, 1862. Full leather.
Full polished calf leather with 5 spine bands, the sections decorated in stamped gilt, gilt titles in a dark green leather label, Marbled endpages with matching stained text-block, boards outlined in gilt. 9.5 inches tall; iv, 828 pages with an index; Complete in one volume, Outlined double columns, Illustrated with a frontispiece and a title vignette page.
The bindings are tight and square. Text clean, light even toning. Moderate shelf handling wear.
Very Good / No Dust Jacket As Issued. Item #17205
Robert Southey, an eminent English poet belonging to the Romantic school, held the prestigious position of Poet Laureate from 1813 until his passing. Just like his contemporaries in the Lake Poets group – William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge – Southey commenced his journey with radical views, only to embrace a more conservative outlook as he developed a deep appreciation for Britain and its institutions.
Much akin to his close associate and brother-in-law, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and to some extent, Sir Walter Scott, Robert Southey was a master of both poetry and prose. His mastery over both forms was equal and absolute. Among his fellow Romantics, he shone as the paragon of versatility and was undeniably one of the most prolific figures.
As a poet, and ultimately as the poet laureate, his creative output encompassed a diverse array: epics, romances, metrical tales, ballads, plays, monodramas, odes, eclogues, sonnets, and an assortment of miscellaneous lyrics. His prowess wasn't limited to poetry; his prose oeuvre included historical accounts, biographies, essays, reviews, translations, travelogues, semi-fictional journalism, polemical dialogues, and a multifaceted work that amalgamated elements of fiction, autobiography, anecdotes, and a wide-ranging collection that resists categorization.
Southey's inclination naturally leaned towards the encyclopedic, and while his compositions might have lacked a certain depth of moral contemplation (as distinct from fervor), and the "natural magic" that some works possessed, they compensated with their robustness and sheer abundance, even if they fell short of genius in some aspects. Coleridge fittingly hailed him as the consummate man of letters.