1811 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Sir John Beaumont

William Wordsworth to Sir George Beaumont, November 1811; Letters of the Wordsworth Family, ed. Knight (1907) 1:532-33.



These inscriptions have all one fault, they are too long; but I was unable to do justice to the thoughts in less room. The second has brought to mind Sir John Beaumont and his brother Francis so livelily to my mind, that I recur to the plan of republishing the former's poems, perhaps in connection with those of Francis. Could any further search be made after the Crown of Thorns [a lost work by Sir John Beaumont]? If I recollect right, Southey applied without effect to the numerous friends he has among the collectors. The best way, perhaps, of managing this republication would be to print it in a very elegant type and paper, and not many copies, to be sold high so that it might be prized by the collectors as a curiosity. Bearing in mind how many excellent things there are in Sir John Beaumont's little volume, I am somewhat mortified at this mode of honouring his memory; but in the present state of the taste of this country, I cannot flatter myself that poems of that character would win their way into general circulation. Should it appear advisable, another edition might afterwards be published, upon a plan which would place the book within the reach of those who have little money to spare. I remain, my dear Sir George, your affectionate friend,

W. WORDSWORTH.