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William Wordsworth, Dorothy Wordsworth

The Letters of William and Dorothy Wordsworth, Vol. 5: The Later Years: Part II: 1829–1834 (Second Revised Edition)

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pg 100447. W. W. to JOSEPH COTTLE

  • Address: Joseph Cottle Esq, Bristol [readdressed to] Mr Kilministers, Shirehampton.
  • Franked: Penrith August three 1829 J Marshall.
  • Postmark: (1) 3 Aug. 1829 (2) 6 Aug.
  • Stamp: (1) Penrith (2) Bristol.
  • MS. WL.
  • Cottle (—). LY i. 386 (—).

  • Patterdale
  • 2nd August 1829.

My dear Sir,

I received yesterday, through the hands of Mr Southey, a very agreeable mark of your regard, in a present of two Volumes of your miscellaneous works,1 for which accept my sincere thanks.

The state of my eyes which have been much troubled with inflammation has not left me at liberty to read much but I have nevertheless looked over a good deal of your Volumes with much pleasure, and, in particular, the 'Malvern Hills', which I find greatly improved. I also have read the poem upon Henderson,2 both old favourites of mine; and have renewed my acquaintance with your observations upon Chatterton, which I always thought very highly of, as being conclusive on the subject of the forgery.3 I promise myself much gratification from the remainder of the Contents which I shall read at my earliest leisure, but having today an opportunity of [a]4 Frank I avail myself of it. Mrs Wordsworth and my Daughter join in kind regards to yourself and Sister; so would my Sister have done but she is at present in Yorkshire. Early in Spring she had, you will be sorry to hear, a very dangerous illness of the inflammatory kind from which, through God's mercy, she is at present perfectly recovered. About ten days ago I saw Mr Southey and his family all well.

  • With many thanks, I remain            
  • My dear Mr Cottle                  
  • Your old and affectionate friend     
  • Wm Wordsworth   

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Notes

Editor’s Note
1 The 4th edition of Malvern Hills, with minor poems and essays.
Editor’s Note
2 Monody on John Henderson, A.B., late of Pembroke College, Oxford. (Malvern Hills, ii. 339). In the same volume (pp. 349 ff.) is Cottle's essay 'On the genius and character of John Henderson', a tribute to the Bristol scholar who had died in 1788 at the age of thirty-one.
Editor’s Note
3 'On Chatterton, and the Rowleian Controversy', Malvern Hills, ii. 382 ff. Cottle and Southey had edited The Works of Thomas Chatterton in 3 vols. in 1803, and fully investigated the controversy surrounding the authorship of the 'Rowley Poems'.
Editor’s Note
4 Word dropped out.
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