Southey’s public criticism of “The Ancient Mariner” as “a Dutch attempt at German sublimity” is conventionally and all too easily dismissed as a demonstration of his limitations, both as a man and as a poet. Given Southey’s allegiance to the tradition of “German sublimity,” which he felt was epitomized in Bürger’s ballads, and which he found championed by his literary friends in Norwich, he had good grounds for concern at Coleridge’s redevelopment of the modern ballad, however. Southey’s own ballad, “The Old Woman of Berkeley,” is read here as a deliberate “answer” to the problems he found in “The Ancient Mariner,” and an attempt to reinforce the “sublime” Bürger tradition. The most important difference concerns the poets’ attitudes to the past, which to Southey is essentially dead, and in need of the poet’s “organicizing” voice (Geoffrey Hartman’s term), while to Coleridge its imaginative energy survives, and can be mediated by the poet. This difference puts Southey closer to the German brand of “Romanticism.” The issues between Southey and Coleridge here are relevant to the problems we face today as scholars approaching, sorting, and evaluating the narratives of the past.
- Bulwer-Lytton, Edward George. Pelham; or, The Adventures of a Gentleman. Ed. Jerome J. McGann. Lincoln, NE: U of Nebraska P, 1972.
- Butler, Marilyn. “Repossessing the Past: the Case for an Open Literary History.” Rethinking Historicism: Critical Readings in Romantic History. Ed. Marjorie Levinson et al. Oxford: Blackwell, 1989. 64-84.
- ---. “Plotting the Revolution: The Political Narratives of Romantic Poetry and Criticism.” Romantic Revolutions: Criticism and Theory. Ed. Kenneth R. Johnston, et al. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1990. 133-57.
- Coleridge, Samuel Taylor. Biographia Literaria. Ed. James Engell and W. Jackson Bate. 2 vols. London: Routledge, 1983.
- Hartman, Geoffrey H. “Wordsworth and Goethe in Literary History.” The Unremarkable Wordsworth. London: Methuen, 1987. 58-74.
- Holmes, Richard. Coleridge: Early Visions. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1989.
- Jacobus, Mary. “Southey’s Debt to Lyrical Ballads (1798).” Review of English Studies 22 (1971): 20-36.
- Lamb, Charles. The Letters of Charles and Mary Lamb. Ed. Edwin W. Marrs, Jr. 3 vols. Ithaca, CT: Cornell UP, 1975-8.
- Lewis, M.G. Tales of Wonder. London: Bulmer, 1801.
- Lowell, Amy. John Keats. 2 vols. London: Jonathan Cape, 1924.
- Merivale, Herman. Rev. of The Poetical Works of Robert Southey. Edinburgh Review 68 (1839): 354-76.
- Robberds, John Warden, comp. Memoir of the Life and Writings of the Late William Taylor of Norwich. 2 vols. London: John Murray, 1843.
- Sayers, Frank. Collective Works of the Late Dr. Sayers, to Which Have Been Prefixed some Biographic Particulars by W. Taylor of Norwich. 2 vols. Norwich: Matchett and Stevenson, 1823.
- Simmons, Jack. Southey. London: Collins, 1945.
- Southey, Robert. The Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey. Ed. Charles Cuthbert Southey. 6 vols. London: Longman, 1849-50.
- ---. The Poetical Works of Robert Southey, Collected by Himself. 10 vols. London: Longman, 1838.
- ---. Rev. of Lyrical Ballads, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth. Critical Review 24 (1798): 197-204.
- ---. Review of Nathan the Wise, trans. William Taylor. Annual Review 4 (1806): 634-9.
- ---. Selections from the Letters of Robert Southey. Ed. John Wood Warter. 4 vols. London: Longman, 1856.
- ---. Sir Thomas More: or, Colloquies on the Progress and Prospects of Society. 2 vols. London: John Murray,1829.
- ---. Thalaba the Destroyer. 2 vols. London: Longman, 1801. Facsim. ed. Introd. Jonathan Wordsworth. Spelsbury: Woodstock, 1991.
- ---. Poems, by Robert Southey. Bristol: Biggs and Cottle, 1797.
- ---. Poems, by Robert Southey: The Second Volume. Bristol: Biggs and Cottle, 1799. Facsim. ed. Introd. Jonathan Wordsworth. Poole: Woodstock, 1997. The introduction has no pagination.
- Taylor, William. “Biographic Particulars of the Late Dr. Sayers.” Sayers i-cxxviii.
- ---. “A Tale of Wonder.” Iris 29 Oct. 1803, .
- ---. “A Tale of Wonder.” Monthly Magazine 34 (1812): 234-6.
- Wordsworth, Jonathan. Introduction. Poems, by Robert Southey: The Second Volume. Bristol: Biggs and Cottle, 1799. Facsim. ed. Poole: Woodstock, 1997. No pagination.