A Blupete Biography Page

Pantisocracy, Part 2 to the Life & Works of
Robert Southey

At Oxford, in June of 1794, Southey was to meet Coleridge who was then visiting from Cambridge. The two hit it off; and, together with some of their fellow political dreamers, were soon making plans for a communistic settlement in America to be independent of any government except that of the settlement itself, a pantisocracy.
"Their wants would be simple and natural; their toil need not be such as the slaves of luxury endure; where possessions were held in common, each would work for all; in their cottages the best books would have a place; literature and science, bathed anew in the invigorating stream of life and nature, could not but rise reanimated and purified. Each young man should take to himself a mild and lovely woman for his wife; it would be her part to prepare their innocent food, and tend their hardy and beautiful race."3
These lovely ideas were to become unraveled about as quick as they were knitted up. Of all the group (Coleridge, et al.) Southey was the first -- after first suggesting as an alternative to America, that the community might be set up in Wales -- to proclaim that pantisocracy, unworkable. The fundamental flaw, of course, whether they saw it this way or not, was that in all such schemes where everyone was expected to throw all they have in to the communal pot couldn't possibly work given the nature of man; besides, even to get such a community set up would take a fair bit of money, money which none of these young dreamers had. However, it does seem that certain of these young pantisocrats had lined up three "mild and lovely women" for their wives: the three Fricker sisters.



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