Robert Southey and the Origins of Pantisocracy

  • Nicholas Roe
Part of the Macmillan Studies in Romanticism book series (SR)


On 13 February 1817 Sherwood, Neely and Jones published without authority the first edition of Southey’s tragedy Wat Tyler, written at the peak of his revolutionary career in 1794. Southey, who had been Poet Laureate since 1813, at first pretended to be ‘very little concerned at this dirty transaction’, as he told John Murray. But by 9 April he had applied for an injunction to restrain the publishers, ‘the case being as plain as day light, that the property was mine’ (Curry, ii. 151, 153).1 That, of course, was exactly the problem. Wat Tyler appeared as an unwelcome reminder of the republican politics of his youth, and the revelation that the ‘Ultra-royalist’ Laureate had once been an ‘Ultra-jacobin’ produced a fierce controversy in newspapers, pamphlets, and in the House of Commons.


Corporal Punishment Perpetual Infringement Republican Politics National Convention Personal Anxiety 
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  1. 4.
    See S. T. Coleridge, Essays on His Times, ed. David V. Erdman, Bollingen Collected Coleridge (3 vols, Princeton, 1978) ii. 459.Google Scholar
  2. 10.
    Thomas Erskine, A View of the Causes and Consequences of the Present War with France (London, 1797) 13.Google Scholar
  3. 16.
    Adam Smith, An Enquiry into the Causes of the Wealth of Nations (2 vols, London, 1776) i. 505–6.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Nicholas Roe 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicholas Roe
    • 1
  1. 1.University of St AndrewsUK

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