The portable Coleridge

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Penguin Books, Mar 31, 1977 - Juvenile Nonfiction - 630 pages
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Chronically impoverished, tormented by self-doubt and a crippling addiction to opium, Samuel Taylor Coleridge( 1772-1834) still managed to become one of the most versatile and influential forces of English romanticism.

"The Portable Coleridge" faithfully represents all facets of this complex, haunted genius, including his poems, "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, " "Christabel, ""Kubla Khan, " and "Dejection"; letters to friends and colleagues such as Robert Southey and William Godwin; selections from "Notebooks" and "Table Talk"; political and philisophical writings; literary criticism; and extensive excerpts from "Biographia Literaria," in which Coleridge interweaves aesthetics, metaphysics, and disarmingly candid autobiography. Edited and with an introduction by the critic I.A. Richards, this voulme vastly expands our understanding of a writer of visionary insight and protean range.

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About the author (1977)

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.

Richards was educated at Clifton College in Bristol and at Magdalene College, Cambridge. In 1922 he became lecturer in English and Moral Sciences at Cambridge, and four years later was made a Fellow of Magdalene Colleg.

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