Item #258142 Autograph Letter, signed (“W.S. Landor”) to Joseph Cottle, Bristol. Walter Savage Landor.

Autograph Letter, signed (“W.S. Landor”) to Joseph Cottle, Bristol.

Bath: S. James Square, 4 July, 1839.

Price: $750.00

About the item

One page, one single folded sheet; with integral leaf addressed on verso. 1 vols. 4to. Integral address leaf reattached to a stub. Minor staining, address obscured by numerous forwarding notes, chip from outer edge of address leaf from wax seal.

Item #258142

W.S. Landor (1775–1864) writes to Joseph Cottle, bookseller and publisher of the Romantics, with news of Robert Southey, whom Cottle had known since 1794 (in part):

“You will be gratified by the union of your friend Southey with a lady so worthy of him both by her writing and her genius.”

Cottle, whose support for Coleridge, Southey, and Wordsworth was profoundly important, in 1795 “helped purchase Edith Fricker's wedding ring and paid Southey's marriage fees. His sisters lodged Edith while Southey went to Lisbon.” The connection between Landor and Southey was equally strong: “Southey would have given up writing his own poetry altogether had it not been for Walter Savage Landor” (ODNB).

Southey’s first wife died in 1837. On 4 June 1839, Southey married poet Caroline Anne Bowles (1786-1854). Three months after the marriage, Southey became hopelessly senile, unable to read or write. “Although Southey suffered from dementia in his last years, he could remember Landor's name when everything else was forgotten …” (ODNB).