Talk:Robert Southey

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comment[edit] Well, he may be read by school children in GB, but I seriously doubt that he is in the US. I think the text should be modified to reflect this. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kdammers (talkcontribs) 07:31, 13 June 2005

MMMM, how do you think this would be best expressed? Jezhotwells (talk) 00:02, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

12 years after the first comment, the article still asserts without any qualification or reservation that "Many of his poems are still read by British schoolchildren"! Not even of Wordsworth could it be said that "many of his poems are still read by British schoolchildren," and of Southey I believe it would be truer to say that the majority of British schoolchildren complete their education without ever seeing any of his poems. Quickly checking the index pages of 33 poetry anthologies designed for current use in UK schools, I find that only one of them has even one Southey poem ("Blenheim").Pelamis (talk) 20:09, 28 July 2017 (UTC)


"Southey's verse enjoys enduring popularity"? Hardly. He has long since been relegated to the company of the "of historical interest only".—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 21:11, 1 May 2008

Removed fragment[edit]

I've removed the following fragment as being doubtful in the extreme. He may very well have "denounced free trade and praised the working man", but I think he might still be light years away from being a proto-commie. --Tagishsimon (talk)

According to the June 1, 2006 airing of Paul Harvey's The Rest of the Story, Southey "denounced free trade and praised the working man," making him an early example of a socialist or even communist.

J.L. Southey[edit]

I'm sorry, for now I'm not sure what the J.L. stands for, but will likely come across it in one of varous sources I regularly go over to do with the history of British Columbia. J.L. Southey was the secretary to Robert Lambert Baynes then a rear-admiral and commander-in-chief of the Pacific Station of the Royal Navy at Esquimalt; a few places in BC are named for him directly or indirectly. I'm wondering if he might be Robert Southey's offspring or some other relation; there are no other articles on anyoen named Southey in Wikipedia, so it seems a rare name. Anyone here recogznie the initials?Skookum1 (talk) 05:12, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

Publication of Nelson's Biography[edit]

I own a copy of Nelson's biography of Southey published in 1900, despite the fact that the article claims it went out of publication in 1813. Don't have a source other than the book I own though, so I'll be lazy and let someone who cares enough to investigate it. (talk) 02:13, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

The article actually says: The latter has rarely been out of print since its publication in 1813?? So please don't interupt your laziness.Jezhotwells (talk) 10:46, 7 December 2009 (UTC)


Is the pronunciation not /ˈsaʊθi/ to rhyme with /ˈmaʊθi/ ? (talk) 07:52, 11 September 2014 (UTC)

Byron rhymed "Southey" with "drouthy" as well as "mouthy"--and he was never fussy about his rhymes. Pelamis (talk) 20:12, 28 July 2017 (UTC)

Three Bears[edit]

The article currently describes Southey's Three Bears as "the original Goldilocks story." I believe that's incorrectly phrased, for two reasons: (1) Southey never claimed to have originated the story. According to its Wikipedia page, "Southey most likely learned the tale as a child from his uncle William Tyler…. Ultimately, it is uncertain where Southey or his uncle learned the tale." (2) Southey's story can't accurately be called a "Goldilocks story" at all, for the simple reason that it has no Goldilocks. (And Goldilocks is generally identified as the central character of this story: Google today finds 10,700,000 hits for "Goldilocks" as against only 415,000 hits for the phrase "three bears.") I suggest changing "the original Goldilocks story" to "an antecedent of the Goldilocks story."Pelamis (talk) 19:55, 28 July 2017 (UTC)

I think it's time to make a point in general. If you're sure the existing text is inaccurate or wrong, please change it, with a reference if the error is factual. I don't think that starting a discussion on Talk is a substitute for that. There is so much editing to be done and so few editors to do it. Please be sparing of their time if you can. Please add who ate the porridge in Southey's version if it wasn't Goldilocks. Bmcln1 (talk) 20:31, 28 July 2017 (UTC)

Thanks for all your helpful advice. I personally don't feel that I have the right to tamper unilaterally with an encyclopedia webpage available to millions of people all over the world (though I appreciate that Wikipedia would let me do so). In my personal view, that job should be left to experts who know the field and know what they're doing. Where relevant, I'm happy to voice a dissenting opinion on the Talk page--but I don't claim to be the only member of the regiment in step. If others more learned than myself support the proposed change, then there might be reason to make it. But where the existing text has already passed for many years without challenge, there must always be a strong probability that it's correct, even if one outsider dissents from it. Pelamis (talk) 22:31, 30 July 2017 (UTC)

"Southey's prose collection The Doctor"[edit]

Two problems here: (1) No edition supervised by Southey or his heirs was ever titled simply "The Doctor." Every edition was titled The Doctor, etc. This isn't mere pedantry. The work has a much greater proportion of "etc." than of "The Doctor." Who would shorten Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra to simply "Antony"? (Note that the same hypertruncation is made even in this article's formal works list.) (2) "Collection" isn't a good description. Southey's book is an imitation of Tristram Shandy, i.e., it has a very slim strand of narrative embellished with enormous digressions. Would anyone call Tristram Shandy a "collection"? Pelamis (talk) 20:23, 28 July 2017 (UTC)

Please check the title on the British Library site or similar and change it to that. Again, no need to discuss the matter at length if you're satisfied and no one objects. Bmcln1 (talk) 20:32, 28 July 2017 (UTC)

"After Blenheim (possibly one of the earliest anti-war poems)"[edit]

Objections: (1) This statement reveals an offensive Anglocentric parochialism sadly too common in Wikipedia. The Sumerian Lamentation over the Destruction of Ur and Archilochos's little piece about dropping his shield and running--both of which are thousands of years older than Southey--have both been described as possibly anti-war poems. Definite anti-war poetry goes back at least as far as Euripides and the Greek Anthology. (2) In any case, Southey was never anti-war at any stage of his career, and certainly not when he wrote this ballad, as his copious letters on the subject reveal. It isn't modern pacifism to claim that Blenheim was fought for no good reason and had no good consequence except the aggrandizement of the victorious general. Rightly or wrongly, that has always been the majority view of Blenheim in English literature ever since the days of Queen Anne. Pelamis (talk) 20:40, 28 July 2017 (UTC)

Cut the remark, then. Or have you done so? Bmcln1 (talk) 20:44, 28 July 2017 (UTC)