1838 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

John Thelwall

William Wordsworth to Mrs. Thelwall, 16 November 1838; in Letters of the Wordsworth Family, ed. Knight (1907) 3:170-71.



November 16, 1838.

Madam,

Circumstances were not favourable to much intercourse between your late husband and myself. I became acquainted with him during a visit which he made to Mr. Coleridge, who was then residing at Nether-Stowey.... Your impression is correct that I, in company with my sister and Mr. Coleridge, visited him at his pleasant abode on the banks of the Wye. Mr. Southey was not of the party, as you suppose.

After the year 1798 I do not recollect having had any intercourse with Mr. Thelwall till he called upon me at Grasmere on his way to Edinburgh, whither he was going to give some lectures upon elocution. This must have been some time between 1801 and 1807, and I once called upon him in London. After that time I think I never saw him....

Whether Mr. Thelwall wrote much poetry, or not, I am ignorant; but I possess a small printed volume of his, containing specimens of an epic poem and several miscellaneous pieces.... Mr. Coleridge and I were of the opinion that the modulations of his blank verse were superior to those of most writers in that metre....

With best wishes I remain, madam,

Sincerely yours,

WM. WORDSWORTH.