Coleridge's Play of Mind
Eminent Coleridgean scholar John Beer presents a series of biographical investigations exploring Coleridge's life, stage by stage, and reconsidering the intellectual quality of his thinking and poetry through an emphasis on the notion of 'play'. Beginning and ending with brief accounts of the poet's childhood and last years, the book's seventeen chapters each take a passage of Coleridge's life and characterise the nature and function of an abiding playful element in his consciousness. In combination they form a detailed, full, and humane treatment of Coleridge's life, focusing on topics such as his interest in psychology, his poetry, his literary collaboration with William and Dorothy Wordsworth, his hopeless love for William's sister-in-law, his literary criticism, including a new approach to Shakespeare, and his work towards a refreshing of contemporary religious beliefs and practices.
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