Coleridge Notebooks

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Routledge, Nov 28, 2002 - 7812 pages
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During his adult life until his death in 1834, Coleridge made entries in more than sixty notebooks. Neither commonplace books nor diaries, but something of both, they contain notes on literary, theological, philosophical, scientific, social and psychological matters, plans for and fragments of works and many other items of great interest.
Shortly after World War II, Kathleen Coburn, formerly of Victoria College in Toronto, rediscovered this great collection of unpublished manuscripts. With the support of the Coleridge estate, she embarked on a career of editing and publishing these volumes and was awarded with many honours for her work, including: a Leverhulme Award (1948), a Guggenheim Fellowship (1953), a Fellowship in the Royal Society of Canada (1958), the Order of Canada (1974) and an honorary doctorate from her own university.
Originally projected as a five volume set (each volume consisting of a book of text and a book of notes) only four of the volumes have been published to date. This collection will not only make available those four volumes once again but will also, for the first time, publish the final long awaited fifth and final volume bringing the collection to its natural conclusion.

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About the author (2002)

Born in Ottery St. Mary, England, in 1772, Samuel Taylor Coleridge studied revolutionary ideas at Cambridge before leaving to enlist in the Dragoons. After his plans to start a communist society in the United States with his friend Robert Southey, later named poet laureate of England, were botched, Coleridge instead turned his attention to teaching and journalism in Bristol. Coleridge married Southey's sister-in-law Sara Fricker, and they moved to Nether Stowey, where they became close friends with William and Dorothy Wordsworth. From this friendship a new poetry emerged, one that focused on Neoclassic artificiality. In later years, their relationship became strained, partly due to Coleridge's moral collapse brought on by opium use, but more importantly because of his rejection of Wordworth's animistic views of nature. In 1809, Coleridge began a weekly paper, The Friend, and settled in London, writing and lecturing. In 1816, he published Kubla Kahn. Coleridge reported that he composed this brief fragment, considered by many to be one of the best poems ever written lyrically and metrically, while under the influence of opium, and that he mentally lost the remainder of the poem when he roused himself to answer an ill-timed knock at his door. Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Christabel, and his sonnet Ozymandias are all respected as inventive and widely influential Romantic pieces. Coleridge's prose works, especially Biographia Literaria, were also broadly read in his day. Coleridge died in 1834.

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