1799 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Amos Cottle

Robert Southey to William Taylor of Norwich, 4 January 1799; J. W. Robberds, Memoir of the Life and Writings of William Taylor (1843) 1:246.



I should ascribe the review of Amos Cottle's Edda, and the version of Vafthoundmismal, in the Monthly Magazine, to you, if I thought you understood the Icelandic language. Is that the case? He was in a hurry, and wanted Northern learning, but seemed to have no idea of knowing how or where to look for it. The Edda fell into his hands and delighted him. His brother, who knows no language but English, wanted to read it, and he had begun a prose translation, when I advised him to versify it: in the course of six weeks he had the book half printed. All this was not as it should have been. However his book will make the Runic tales more familiar, and may perhaps give a good direction to the genius of some young man, into whose hands it may fall.