Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Southey, Robert
SOUTHEY, ROBERT, an English poet; born in Bristol, England, Aug. 12, 1774. Shortly after leaving Oxford he formed the acquaintance of Coleridge, the two friends marrying at the same time two sisters. After a short visit to Portugal, in 1796, he entered as a student of law at Gray's Inn. In 1801 he devoted himself to literature, and soon after took up his residence at Keswick, in Cumberland, where the remainder of his life was passed, he being thenceforth classed as one of the Lake poets. In 1807 he obtained a pension from the government, and on the death of Pye was appointed poet laureate. In 1839, two years after the death of his wife, he married Caroline Bowles. The latter years of his life were clouded by a mental imbecility which attended him to his death. His chief poems are: “Joan of Arc” (1796); “Thalaba” (1801); “Madoc” (1805); “The Curse of Kehama” (1810); “Roderick” (1814); “A Vision of Judgment” (1821); etc. Among his prose works are: “History of Brazil” (1810); “Life of Nelson” (1813); “Life of John Wesley” (1820); “History of the Peninsular War” (1823); “Sir Thomas More” (1829); “The Doctor” (1834-1837). Among his translations was “The Chronicle of the Cid.” His "Commonplace Book,” a posthumous publication in four volumes 8vo, is a marvelous monument of his reading and research. He died near Keswick, England, March 21, 1843.