William Wordsworth

Ernest De Selincourt and Alan G. Hill (eds), The Letters of William and Dorothy Wordsworth, Vol. 4: The Later Years: Part I: 1821–1828 (Second Revised Edition)

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160. W. W. to SAMUEL ROGERS

  • Address: Sam1 Rogers Esqre, St. James Place, London.
  • Postmark: 22 Feb. 1825.
  • Stamp: Kendal Penny Post.
  • Endorsed: not to be published S. R.
  • MS. Sharpe Collection, University College, London.
  • Rogers. K (—). LY i. 181.

[In M. W.'s hand]

Rydal Mount Febry 19th [1825]

My dear Rogers,

I wrote at least six weeks ago2 enclosing a letter I had recd from Longman, etc, and being unwilling to put you to the expence of pg 320double postage upon my own business, I enclosed it to Lord Lowther for the 2d post-off:. Not having had your answer, I am afraid his St1 has not attended properly to it.

The letter was to beg your assistance in the republication of my poems with some Bookseller either more liberal, more adventurous, or more skilful in pushing off unfashionable books than Messrs Longman. I have been accustomed to publish with them—they facing all risks and halfing the profits. This is a wretched way for books of some established credit, but of slow, tho' regular Sale. For the expence of advertizing eats away (as conducted by Longman) all the profit which would otherwise accrue after the cost of printing, etc has been discharged. L. declines publishing on other terms, but says that an Ed: both of the Poems and the Excur: is called for, and if not by them, ought immediately to be published by some one. I have no [other]2 fault to find with Messrs L. and Co than is implied above—if we part, it is on good terms, as his letter expressed, and I should not wish for a change without the hope of a better bargain.

Now you may think that I ought to undertake this disagreeable business myself, and so I should think, if I had not so kind a Friend who has 50 times the talent for this sort of work which I possess, and who besides could say 100 handsome things, which, egotist as I am described to be, and as in verse I am willing to be thought—I could not say of myself.

I have additional short pieces to the amount of 5 or 6 hundred lines, which would not bear separate publication, yet might be advantageously interspersed with the 4 vols of Miscellaneous Poems. These ought to be considered in the bargain—as there are many periodical publications that would pay me handsomely for them. But I never publish thro' those channels. The Continental Memorials and Ecc1 Sketches would also be added.

It has sometimes struck me the matter of my Miscous Poems might be [so] arranged (if thought advisable) as to be sold in separate Vols.—One Vol we will say of local Poetry, to consist of the river Duddon, the Scotch Poems with additions, the Continental pieces, and others. A Vol of Sonnets, perhaps, etc. I throw this out merely as a hint, being persuaded that many are deterred by the expence of purchasing the whole who would be glad of a part. Yet I am aware there might be strong objections to this.

Pray let me have an answer at your earliest convenience.

My friend Mr Robinson tells us he had the pleasure of seeing pg 321your Sister not long ago, well. Give our best remembrances to her, and accept them yourself, and let us know how you are and have been. Where and how Sharp is? and what he reports of Italy and Italian scenery.

Poor Monkhouse is removed from Devonshire to Clifton, dying, it should seem, as slowly as ever any one did in such a complaint.

Mrs W. Dora and I had a delightful ramble last summer thro' North and part of S. Wales. I had not seen N.W. for more than 30 years. The scenery is much finer than my memory represented. I wish you had been with us.

  • ever faithfully yours    
  • [signed] Wm Wordsworth  

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Notes

Editor’s Note
1 Brinsop Court, home of the Danseys from the fifteenth century until c. 1820 when it was sold to David Ricardo of Gatcombe Park (see L. 249 below), whose son leased it to the Hutchinsons.
Editor’s Note
1 i.e. Servant.
Editor’s Note
2 Word dropped out.
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