Coleridge, Samuel Taylor
Samuel Taylor Coleridge 1772–1834
English poet, critic, essayist, dramatist, and journalist.
See also, "Kubla Khan" Criticism.
Coleridge is considered one of the most significant poets and critics in the English language. As a major figure in the English Romantic movement, he is best known for three poems, "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," "Kubla Khan," and "Christabel" as well as one volume of criticism, Biographia Literaria; or, Biographical Sketches of My Literary Life and Opinions. While "The Ancient Mariner," "Kubla Khan," and "Christabel" were poorly received during Coleridge's lifetime, they are now praised as classic examples of imaginative poetry, illuminated by Coleridge's poetic theories, of which he said in the Biographia Literaria, "My endeavors should be directed to persons and characters spiritual and supernatural, or at least romantic."
Coleridge was born in Devon, the tenth child of John Coleridge, a vicar and schoolmaster, and his wife Ann Bowdon Coleridge. At the age of ten his father died and the young Coleridge was sent to Christ's Hospital, a boarding school in London where he was befriended by fellow student Charles Lamb. Later, he was awarded a scholarship to Jesus College, Cambridge University, showing promise as a gifted writer and brilliant conversationalist. In 1794, before completing his degree, Coleridge went on a walking tour to Oxford where he met poet Robert Southey. Espousing the revolutionary concepts of liberty and equality for all individuals, and inspired by the initial events of the French Revolution, Coleridge and Southey collaborated on The Fall of Robespierre. An Historic Drama. As an outgrowth of their shared beliefs, they developed a plan for a "pantisocracy," an egalitarian and self-sufficient agricultural system to be built in Pennsylvania. The pantisocratic philosophy required every member to be married, and at Southey's urging, Coleridge wed Sarah Fricker, the sister of Southey's fiancée. However, the match proved disastrous, and Coleridge's unhappy marriage was a source of grief to him throughout his life. To compound these difficulties, Southey later lost interest in the scheme, abandoning it in 1795. Coleridge's fortunes changed, though, when in 1796 he met the poet William Wordsworth, with whom he had corresponded casually for several years. Their rapport was instantaneous, and the next year Coleridge moved to Nether Stowey in the Lake District, the site of their literary collaboration. Following the publication of Lyrical Ballads, with a few Other Poems, completed with Wordsworth, Coleridge traveled to Germany where he developed an interest in the
German philosophers Immanuel Kant, Friedrich von Schelling, and brothers Friedrich and August Wilhelm von Schlegel; he later introduced German aesthetic theories in England through his critical writing. Upon his return in 1799 Coleridge settled in Keswick near the Lake District, gaining, together with Wordsworth and Southey, the title "Lake Poet." During this period, Coleridge suffered poor health and personal strife; his marriage was failing and he had fallen in love with Wordsworth's sister-in-law Sarah Hutchinson—a love that was unrequited and a source of great pain. He began taking opium as a remedy for his poor health and, seeking a more temperate climate to improve his morale, traveled to Italy. Upon his return to England Coleridge began a series of lectures on poetry and Shakespeare, which are now considered the basis of his reputation as a critic. Because of Coleridge's abuse of opium and alcohol, his erratic behavior caused him to quarrel with Wordsworth, and he left Keswick to return to London. In the last years of his life Coleridge wrote the Biographia Literaria, considered his greatest critical writing, in which he developed aesthetic theories intended as the introduction to a great philosophical opus. Coleridge died in 1834 of complications stemming from his dependence on opium.
The bulk of Coleridge's most admired work was composed between the years 1798 and 1800, his most prolific period of poetic output. Lyrical Ballads, which was published anonymously, includes the now-famous preface by Wordsworth, stating that the poems "were written chiefly with a view to ascertain how far the language of conversation in the middle and lower classes is adapted to the purposes of poetic pleasure." The collection also contains Coleridge's "The Ancient Mariner" in its original "archaic" form. The poem, a tale of a seaman who kills an albatross, presents a variety of religious and supernatural images to depict a moving spiritual journey of doubt, renewal, and eventual redemption. Many of the poem's symbols have sparked radically different interpretations, and several commentators consider it an allegorical record of Coleridge's own spiritual pilgrimage. Coleridge himself, however, commented that the poem's major fault consisted of "the obtrusion of the moral sentiment so openly on the reader…. It ought to have had no more moral than the Arabian Nights' tale of the merchant's sitting down to eat dates." Coleridge's concern with religious themes is also evidenced in "Kubla Khan," which was published with a note explaining the strange circumstances of its composition. He wrote that he fell asleep while reading an account of how the Chinese emperor Kubla Khan had ordered the building of a palace within a walled garden. Upon awakening, he claimed, he wrote down the several hundred lines he had composed in his sleep. Although Coleridge dismissed "Kubla Khan" as simply a "psychological experiment," the poem is now regarded as a forerunner of the work of the Symbolists and Surrealists in its presentation of the unconscious. In Coleridge's other poetic fragment, "Christabel," he combined exotic images with gothic romance to create an atmosphere of terror. Like "The Ancient Mariner," "Christabel" deals with the themes of evil and guilt in a setting pervaded by supernatural elements. Most critics now contend that Coleridge's inability to sustain the poem's eerie mood prevented him from completing "Christabel." In 1995 it was reported that a professor from University College in Dublin discovered 300 previously unknown Coleridge poems which had been dispersed across five continents.
Although critical estimation of Coleridge's work increased dramatically after his death, relatively little commentary was written on him until the turn of the century. Today, his problems of disorganization and fragmented writing are largely ignored, and most critics agree that his works constitute a seminal contribution to literature. While a few commentators have termed both Coleridge's criticism and stature overrated, the majority acknowledge his poetical talent and insight. Contemporary scholars now look to Coleridge as the intellectual center of the English Romantic movement.
*Poems on Various Subjects [with Robert Southey and Charles Lamb] 1796
Ode on the Departing Year 1797
Fears in Solitude, Written in 1798 during the alarm of an invasion. To which are added, FRANCE, AN ODE; and FROST AT MIDNIGHT 1798
Lyrical Ballads, with a Few Other Poems [with William Wordsworth] 1798
Christabel; Kubla Khan, a Vision; The Pains of Sleep. 1816
Sibylline Leaves: A Collection of Poems 1817
The Poetical Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. 3 vols. 1828
The Complete Poetical Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. 2 vols. 1912
Other Major Works
The Fall of Robespierre. An Historic Drama [with Robert Southey] (drama) 1794
Osorio (drama) 1797; revised as Remorse, A Tragedy, in Five Acts 1813
Wallenstein (translation; from the dramas Die piccolomini and Wallensteins Tod by Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller) 1800
The Statesman's Manual; or, The Bible the Best Guide to Political Skill and Foresight: A Lay Sermon (essay) 1816
Biographia Literaria; or, Biographical Sketches of My Literary Life and Opinions (essays) 1817
Zapolya: A Christmas Tale, in...
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SOURCE: The Road to Xanadu: A Study in the Ways of the Imagination, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1927, pp. 240-307.
[The Road to Xanadu is considered the foundation of serious modern study of Coleridge's poetry. In the following excerpt, the critic confirms the poet's own assessment of "The Ancient Mariner" as a "work of pure imagination." Lowes regards the moral of the poem not as an intentional, didactic message but as one element in a work unified by Coleridge's "constructive imagination. "]
'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner' is 'a work of pure imagination,' and Coleridge himself has so referred to it. And this study, far from undermining that declaration, is lending it confirmation at every turn. For a work of pure imagination is not something fabricated by a tour de force from nothing, and suspended, without anchorage in fact, in the impalpable ether of a visionary world. No conception could run more sharply counter to the truth. And I question, in the light of all that is now before us, whether any other poem in English is so closely compacted out of fact, or so steeped in the thought and instinct with the action which characterized its time. Keats, in 'La belle Dame sans Merci,' distilled into a single poem the quintessence of mediaeval romance and balladry. And what 'La belle Dame sans Merci' is to the gramarye of the Middle Ages, 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner' is to the voyaging,...
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SOURCE: Coleridge, Opium, and "Kubla Khan," The University of Chicago Press, 1953, pp. 238-88.
[Schneider's study is considered by many scholars one of the most important interpretations of "Kubla Khan" in the twentieth century. In the following excerpt, the critic considers the poem an incomplete fragment and discusses its form and texture, which evoke "the soul of ambivalence, oscillation's very self."]
"Kubla Khan" has been read with equal conviction as cosmic allegory and incantatory nonsense; and with reference to both meaning and form it has been described equally as a fragment and a perfectly rounded complete whole. It has been called the quintessential poem of romanticism, even while its magical virgin birth placed it quite outside literary tradition or pedigree. To the aesthetic purist these may still be peripheral questions; they must be acknowledged, however, to lead at least in the direction of the poetic essence itself. They will serve for a beginning….
[To] one who reads "Kubla Khan" attentively without ulterior motive and without fixed preconceptions, "Kubla Khan" has, throughout, a perfectly normal meaning, one that is as logical and, as far as one can tell, as conscious as that of most deliberately composed poems. This is evident, once we cease to be dazzled by the familiar prefatory note and Kubla's bewitching scenery. Indeed, one hesitates to explain the meaning...
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SOURCE: "The Meaning of 'Kubla Khan'," in A Review of English Literature, Vol. 2, 1961, pp. 21-9.
[Australian-born Watson is a distinguished critic, editor, and lecturer of English at Cambridge University. He is the author of numerous studies of English Medieval, Renaissance, and Victorian literature and political history. In the following essay, Watson disputes interpretations of "Kubla Khan" as a "dream poem"; it is instead, he asserts, a lucid critique of the poetic imagination.]
We now know almost everything about Coleridge's 'Kubla Khan' except what the poem is about. E. H. Coleridge, years ago, shrewdly corrected Coleridge's misdating of his own poem to May 1798 [Complete Poetical Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1912], and Mr. Morchard Bishop has plausibly identified the very farmhouse in Culborne, a tiny village on the Somerset coast, where the poet may have been interrupted in his composition by 'a person on business from Porlock' ["The Farmhouse of Kubla Khan", in The Times Literary Supplement, 10 May 1957]; while medical evidence has discouraged loose talk about the creative effects of opium. All this—and, of course, J. L. Lowes's researches into Coleridge's reading in The Road to Xanadu (1927)—should have left the critic free to make a decisive interpretation in the light of all the evidence. But, in fact, the increasing technicality of Coleridge scholarship seems to...
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SOURCE: "Coleridge: The Anxiety of Influence," in New Perspectives on Coleridge and Wordsworth: Selected Papers from the English Institute, edited by Geoffrey H. Hartman, Columbia University Press, 1972, pp. 247-67.
[Bloom is one of the most prominent contemporary American critics and literary theorists. In The Anxiety of Influence (1973), he formulated a controversial theory of literary creation called revisionism. Influenced strongly by Freudian theory, Bloom believes that all poets are subject to the influence of earlier poets and that, to develop their own voices, they attempt to overcome this influence through a process of misreading. By misreading, Bloom means a deliberate, personal revision of what has been said by another so that it conforms to one's own vision. In this way the poet creates a singular voice, overcoming the fear of being inferior to poetic predecessors. In addition to his theoretical work, Bloom is one of the foremost authorities on English Romantic poetry and has written widely on the influences of Romanticism in contemporary literature. The following essay was originally presented as a paper at a 1971 conference on Coleridge. He examines why, in his opinion, Coleridge failed to overcome the powerful influence of John Milton's poetry.]
Coleridge observed that "psychologically, Consciousness is the problem," and he added somberly: "almost all is yet to be achieved." How...
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SOURCE: "Coleridge's 'Hymn Before Sun-rise': Mont Blanc, Mon Frère, Mon Semblable," in Coleridge's Meditative Art, Cornell, 1975, pp. 144-72.
[In the following excerpt, Parker explores the biographical, psychological, and textual influences at work in "Hymn before Sun-rise in the Vale of Chamouni."]
["Dejection: An Ode," "To William Wordsworth Composed on the Night after His Recitation of a Poem on the Growth of the Individual Mind," and "Hymn Before Sun-rise in the Vale of Chamouni"] in varying degrees of explicitness, derive from what by all odds was Coleridge's besetting preoccupation as a poet during the period of roughly ten years following his first major successes in a meditative style, "This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison" and "Frost at Midnight." That preoccupation was, to put it simply, Wordsworth. More and more in the years following 1798 an increasingly anxious Coleridge turned to him for support, friendship, and a precarious self-definition….
The most problematic of the three poems is the "Hymn Before Sun-rise in the Vale of Chamouni." I think it calls for the boldest departure from traditional readings. Coleridge's hope that it would eventually gain something of the high admiration readers in his own day accorded to "The Ancient Mariner" and "Christabel" has remained unfulfilled. It would be simplifying subsequent history to say that De Quincey's exposure, two months after...
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SOURCE: "The Meaning of 'The Ancient Mariner'," in Critical Inquiry, Vol. 8, No. 1, Autumn, 1981, pp. 35-67.
[In the following excerpt, McGann argues that Coleridge's revisions of "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" reflect the author's evolving theory of literary criticism, which derived from Biblical analysis. According to McGann, the marginal glosses added to the 1817 version of the poem, in particular, create the effect of a work of great antiquity that has passed through various versions and redactions.]
What does "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" mean? This question, in one form or another, has been asked of the poem from the beginning; indeed, so interesting and so dominant has this question been that Coleridge's poem now serves as one of our culture's standard texts for introducing students to poetic interpretation. The question has been, and still is, an important one, and I shall try to present here yet another answer to it. My approach, however, will differ slightly from the traditional ones, for I do not believe that we can arrive at a synthetic answer until we reflect upon the meaning of the question itself. I will begin, therefore, by reconsidering briefly the history of the poem's criticism.
The Critical History
From its first appearance in Lyrical Ballads, the "Rime" was an arresting, if problematic, work. Though well known to readers...
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SOURCE: "Coleridge's 'Dejection': Imagination, Joy, and the Power of Love," in Coleridge's Imagination: Essays in Memory of Pete Laver, Richard Gravil, Lucy Newlyn, Nicholas Roe, eds., Cambridge University Press, 1985, pp. 179–92.
[Barth is an American Catholic priest, professor of English, and critic who specializes in religious symbolism in Romantic literature. He is the author of Coleridge and Christian Doctrine (1969). In the following essay, he interprets "Dejection: An Ode" to be about "love, … imagination and joy—for the three are inextricably bound together—and the power of art."]
Poetic origins are often obscure, as witness the genesis of Shakespeare's sonnets or the history of Keats' two Hyperions. Among such mysteries, the relationship between Coleridge's verse 'Letter to Sara Hutchinson' (written on 4 April 1802, but first published only in 1937) and his 'Dejection: an Ode' (published in the Morning Post, 4 October 1802, Wordsworth's wedding-day) has been a matter of considerable discussion and debate. Although it is evident that the one is a drastic revision of the other, it remains unclear what were Coleridge's poetic purposes in making the revision, and what was in his mind in publishing it on the wedding-day of his friend Wordsworth, which was also the seventh anniversary of his own unfortunate marriage to Sara Fricker.
A cogent case has been made...
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SOURCE: "Coleridge's 'Kubla Khan': A Metaphor for the Creative Process," in South Atlantic Review, Vol. 51, No. 4, November, 1986, pp. 17-29.
[In the following essay, Milne provides an analysis of the symbolism in "Kubla Khan " and postulates that Xanadu is a metaphor of the human mind.]
Although debate continues over whether or not the head-note Coleridge published with "Kubla Khan" in 1816 should be regarded as a factual account of the poem's origin, recent studies have suggested that regardless of its basis in fact the headnote serves most importantly as what Warren Stevenson calls [in his "'Kubla Khan' as Symbol," in Texas Studies in Literature 14, 1973], an "imaginative adjunct to the poem." In that context, the headnote can be seen as "a prose imitation of the poem it introduces," functioning "in part as argument and gloss" [Irene H. Chayes, "'Kubla Khan' and the Creative Process," Studies in Romanticism 6, 1966]. Such an understanding of the headnote reinforces the view that "Kubla Khan" is a poem about the creative process. To say that certainly is not new, but the reading that follows, while benefiting from those preceding it, differs from them in its interpretation of specific elements in the poem, particularly the function of Kubla Khan.
According to the account given in the headnote, Coleridge sensed that he composed a poem in...
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SOURCE: "Natural Symbolism and the Conversation Poems," in The Singing of Mount Abora: Coleridge's Use of Biblical Imagery and Natural Symbolism in Poetry and Philosophy, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1987, pp. 29-42.
[Piper is an Australian educator and critic. In the following essay, he discusses the nature symbolism and the expression of religious experience in the poetry Coleridge produced between 1795 and 1798.]
Coleridge's long inquiry for a religious faith that would satisfy him intellectually and morally began in Cambridge in 1794 and lasted all his life. There are two things to be kept in mind about this inquiry. In the first place Coleridge did not remain in any state of suspended judgment; he was always in possession of an active faith that he was anxious to preach. Secondly, it should not be thought of as a progress from unsatisfactory answers to a final solution. The later nineteenth-century belief that German idealist philosophy had discovered the truth of things no longer holds so firmly, and, in any case, Coleridge did not seem to reach any final resting place after he abandoned (if he did so) his last guide, Schelling. What matters is what he made of each stage in his thought, and it was his earlier ideas which underlay the literary achievements that give him his general reputation.
In 1794, the last year which Coleridge spent at Cambridge, his tutor in...
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SOURCE: "The False Poets in 'Kubla Khan,'" in English Language Notes, Vol. XXVI, No. 2, December, 1988, pp. 48-55.
[In the essay below, Hewitt identifies two distinctive themes present in "Kubla Khan " which reveal that the "poem as a whole displays a dilemma: it shows that the two extant theories accounting for poetic composition fail to provide a sufficient explanation of that phenomenon."]
Readers choosing to understand "Kubla Khan" as a comment on poetry may deem most concomitant interpretive issues settled some time ago by George Watson [in "The meaning of 'Kubla Khan'," in A Review in English Literature, 1961]:
"Kubla Khan," then, is not just about poetry: it is about two kinds of poem. We have one of them in the first thirty-six lines of the poem; and though we do not have the other, we are told what it would do to the reader and what it would do to the poet. The reader would be able to visualize a palace and park he had never seen; and the poet would behave after the classic manner of poets, like a madman. This second poem—the poem that does not exist—is so evidently the real thing that it is clear that the poem we have, in 11. 1-36, is not the real thing—not quite a poem at all, in Coleridge's terms.
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SOURCE: "Coleridge's Divine Duplicity: Being a Concatenation of His Surrogates, Succedaneums, and Doppelgängers," in The Wordsworth Circle, Vol. XX, No. 2, Spring, 1989, pp. 74-8.
[In the following essay, Stevenson explores the theme of superimposed identity, or the "double" in several of Coleridge's poems.]
The name "Samuel" means "name of God," and is thus a substitute for the unsayable. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who believed that an idea can be presented only by a symbol, saw art and hence language as a sweet succedaneum for ultimate reality. As the Canadian poet Irving Layton has observed in Waiting for the Messiah (1986), it is not an accident that "lyre" and "liar" are homonyms. From this it follows that any direct assault upon the fortress of truth is doomed to failure, and that one must "tell the truth, but tell it slant," as the bard of Amherst so adeptly intimated. In the case of Coleridge, this inspired indirection is typically coupled with a subtly secularized version, or versions, of the doctrine of Atonement expressed in the form of a series of poems dealing with the motif of vicarious fulfillment, wherein another typically takes on, at least temporarily and symbolically, Christ's traditional role as mediator and redeemer, bringing the poet's imagination into a state of at-one-ness with nature and God.
This theme can be seen underlying Coleridge's protohoneymoon...
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SOURCE: "Coleridge, the French Revolution, and 'The Ancient Mariner': Collective Guilt and Individual Salvation," in The Yearbook of English Studies, Vol. 19, 1989, pp. 197-207.
[In the following analysis of Coleridge's political poetry, Kitson opines that the "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" is essentially a political poem revealing the "internalization" of a "moral revolution" that is a direct consequence of the events of the French Revolution.]
S. T. Coleridge's 'The Rime of Ancient Mariner' was written against the background of the collapse of the poet's hopes for the improvement of mankind by political action, the ultimate failure of the French Revolution to distinguish itself from its oppressive Bourbon predecessors. The contribution of Coleridge's political beliefs to this poem has never been fully appreciated. Certainly 'The Ancient Mariner' has none of the political allusions which stud the contemporaneous 'France: an Ode' or 'Fears in Solitude' and this has led most critics to concur with E. M. W. Tillyard [in his Poetry and Its Background, 1961] that the poem exhibits 'a total lack of politics'. Yet given the circumstances which gave rise to 'The Ancient Mariner', this very absence of political content is itself political. As Carl Woodring puts it [in his Politics in the Poetry of Coleridge, 1961], if Coleridge's supernatural poems are poems of escape, 'politics form a large...
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SOURCE: "The Politics of 'Frost at Midnight'," in The Wordsworth Circle, Vol. XXII, No. 1, Winter, 1991, pp. 3-11.
[Magnuson is an American educator, critic, and editor. In the following essay, adapted from a lecture delivered at the 1990 Coleridge Summer Conference at Cannington College, he examines "Frost at Midnight" in the context of the political climate and public discourse current at the time it was written.]
I would like to begin with a quotation, which I take to be representative of common opinion on Coleridge's Conversation Poems and his mystery poems. In his Clark Lectures, published in 1953, Humphry House remarked:
It has been observed by Dr. Tillyard how very unpolitical "The Ancient Mariner" is. "Frost at Midnight" (dated February 1798—that is, while the "Mariner" was being written) is, if possible, less political still.
House argues that at the time that these poems were being written Coleridge began to divide his poetical interests, writing some poems with explicit political content and others that do not contain a word of politics. In other words, the comparison of either "Frost at Midnight" or "The Ancient Mariner" with other poems written or published at the same time, "The Visions of the Maid of Orleans" or "Fears in Solitude" for examples, demonstrates that Coleridge was liberating his genius from the mundane impediments of topical literature....
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SOURCE: "The Lost Garden of Coleridge," in The Wordsworth Circle, Vol. XXII, No. 1, Winter, 1991, pp. 24-30.
[In the following essay, Luther analyzes the ways in which "The Garden of Boccaccio" moves beyond the painting that is its ostensible subject to become a celebration of the creative process.]
In The Dark Night of Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1960) Marshall Suther praises "The Garden of Boccaccio" as "Coleridge's version of 'Sailing to Byzantium'"; and in Visions of Xanadu (1965) Suther goes so far as to call it "the last real poem [Coleridge] wrote." George Watson even more resoundingly asserts that the poem "ought to be better known; it ought, in fact, to be the poem first turned to, after the conversation poems, the 'Mariner', 'Kubla Khan' and 'Christabel', to confirm the stature of [Coleridge's] poetic art" (Coleridge the Poet ). Yet "The Garden of Boccaccio" has still been virtually erased from most surveys of the Coleridgean landscape. The Everyman edition of Poems selected and introduced by John Beer (1974, 1986) is the only readily available reading text I know of which includes it, and Jerome Christensen's sensitive interpretation of "The Garden of Boccaccio" in a discussion of "The Associationist Precedent for Coleridge's Late Poems" is the only recent, detailed critical analysis of which I am aware ("Philosophy/Literature," in Philosophical Approaches to...
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SOURCE: '"The Raven: A Christmas Poem': Coleridge and the Fairy Tale Controversy," in Romanticism and Children's Literature in Nineteenth-Century England, edited by James Holt McGavran, Jr., The University of Georgia Press, 1991, pp. 14-35.
[In the following excerpt, Watson examines "The Raven: A Christmas Tale" as "a tongue-in-cheek, yet serious argument on Coleridge's side of the debate " over the value of fairy tales.]
The Other World of fairy tale was familiar ground for Samuel Taylor Coleridge throughout his life. The intense fascination surrounding his earliest childhood reading of The Arabian Nights (which he read in secret dread and delight) finds adult play in his most complex theological and philosophical writing. Despite the general strictures of the time against fairy tales, the genre is central to "Christabel" and also makes a strong contribution to Coleridge's other well-known poems of mystery, "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" and "Kubla Khan." The touch of faery marks lesser-known poems as well. Coleridge uses elements of the genre, or elements of what he calls "Faery," in his poetry from beginning to end, a fact which helps make his work appealing to children as well as adults. In addition, his adherence to a belief in the importance of Faery makes him pivotal in what has been called the "battle" over fairy tales, or what might more accurately be described as the larger issue of...
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Milton, Mary Lee Taylor. The Poetry of Samuel Taylor Coleridge: An Annotated Bibliography of Criticism, 1935-1970. New York: Garland Publishing, 1981, 251 p.
Includes an extended introduction that discusses major issues and trends in Coleridge criticism.
Raysor, Thomas M.; Schulz, Max F.; and Wellek, René. "Coleridge." In The English Romantic Poets: A Review of Research and Criticism, third revised edition, edited by Frank Jordan, pp. 135-258. New York: The Modern Language Association of America, 1972.
Study of bibliographies and editions of Coleridge's notebooks, verse, and letters, including a section devoted to an overview of historical and literary criticism of Coleridge's poetry. The chapter concludes with an essay by Wellek entitled "Coleridge's Philosophy and Criticism (To 1956)."
Bawer, Bruce. "Hungering for Eternity: Coleridge the Poet." The New Criterion 8, No. 8 (April 1990): 20-32.
Biographical essay on Coleridge's life and writing career.
Caine, Hall. Life of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. London: Walter Scott, 1887, 154 p.
Biographical study drawing on a variety of sources, including...
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