1830 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Dr. John Aikin

Robert Southey to Samuel Egerton Brydges, 16 June 1830; in Samuel Egerton Brydges, Autobiography (1834) 2:274-75.



You may have seen an impossible attempt of Dr. Aikin to comprise a complete collection of English poetry in one volume. He begins with a few pages of Ben Jonson, and then comes to Milton. Longman put it into my hands when it was just published; and I remarked to him, that Dr. Aikin had begun just where I should have ended, for every thing which this volume contained was already accessible to readers of all classes. He remembered this, and applied to me lately to include such books of the earlier poets as the limits would admit, in a similar volume.