Sir Thomas More: or, Colloquies on the Progress and Prospects of Society, by Robert Southey  book cover
1st Edition

Sir Thomas More: or, Colloquies on the Progress and Prospects of Society, by Robert Southey

ISBN 9781848935747
Published June 1, 2013 by Routledge
978 Pages

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Book Description

In 1829 Robert Southey published a book of his imaginary conversations with the original Utopian: Sir Thomas More; or Colloquies on the Progress and Prospects of Society. The product of almost two decades of social and political engagement, Colloquies is Southey’s most important late prose work, and a key text of late 'Lake School' Romanticism. It is Southey’s own Espriella’s Letters (1807) reimagined as a dialogue of tory and radical selves; Coleridge’s Church and State (1830) cast in historical dramatic form. Over a series of wide-ranging conversations between the Ghost of More and his own Spanish alter-ego, ‘Montesinos’, Southey develops a richly detailed panorama of British history since the 1530s – from the Reformation to Catholic Emancipation. Exploring issues of religious toleration, urban poverty, and constitutional reform, and mixing the genres of dialogue, commonplace book, and picturesque guide, the Colloquies became a source of challenge and inspiration for important Victorian writers including Macaulay, Ruskin, Pugin and Carlyle.

Table of Contents

Volume I

List of Illustrations



Robert Southey: A Selective Chronology 1808-1843

List of Abbreviations


Progress and Prospects: Colloquies and Romantic History

The Social Context: Southey and Robert Owen

Origins and Composition

Publication and Reception

This Edition

Note on the text and editorial procedures

Sir Thomas More; or, Colloquies on the Progress and Prospects of Society (1829)

Volume I



I. Introduction

II. The Improvement Of The World

III. The Druidical Stones.—Visitations Of Pestilence

IV. Feudal Slavery.—Growth Of Pauperism

V. Decay of the Feudal System.—Edward VI.—Alfred

VI. Walla Crag.—Owen Of Lanark

VII. The Manufacturing System.—Part II.

VIII. Steam.—War.—Prospects Of Europe

IX. Derwentwater.—Catholic Emancipation.—Ireland

Volume II

X. Crosthwaite Church.—St. Kentigern.—Part II.—The Reformation.—Dissenters.—Methodists

XI. Infidelity.—Church Establishment

XII. Blencathra.—Threlkeld Tarn.—The Cliffords.—Part II.—Privileged Orders.—The American Governments

XIII. The River Greta.—Trade.—Population.—Colonies.

XIV. The Library

XV. The Conclusion


Notes and Illustrations


Volume II

Editorial Notes

Appendix A: Reviews of Colloquies

Appendix B: A note on ‘Montesinos’, Southey’s name in Colloquies

Appendix C: Southey’s sources for Colloquies (edited from the Sale Catalogue of his library)



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Dr Tom Duggett is Associate Professor in English Literature at Xi'an Jiaotong - Liverpool University, Suzhou, China.