Sources for Further Study
Barfield, Owen. What Coleridge Thought. Middletown, Conn.: Wesleyan University Press, 1971. Focuses on Coleridge’s theological and philosophical thought, including his self-proclaimed “passion for Christianity.”
Bloom, Harold, ed. Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” New York: Chelsea House, 1986. Introduction places the poem in the tradition of Cain and Wandering Jew stories, and essays include studies of the poem’s sources and symbolism.
Boulanger, James D., ed. Twentieth Century Interpretations of “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”: A Collection of Critical Essays. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1969. A useful collection of scholarly articles dealing with the poem, including an introduction that attempts to reconcile some of the differences of critical opinion.
Coleridge, Samuel Taylor. The Annotated Ancient Mariner. Edited by Martin Gardner. Illustrated by Gustave Doré. Cleveland: World Publishing, 1967. Includes the last and the first versions of the poem, together with interpretive comments of varying utility. Doré’s illustrations (and those by other artists) remind readers how intensely visual the poem is.
Falke, Cassandra. “The Sin of the Ancient Mariner.” Lamar Journal of the Humanities 29, no. 1 (Spring, 2004): 5-11. Argues that The Rime of the Ancient Mariner can be fully appreciated only within the context of Coleridge’s Christianity, particularly his understanding and use of the concepts of Original Sin and the Cain story.
House, Humphry. Coleridge: The Clark Lectures, 1951-52. London: Hart-Davis, 1953. This book of fewer than 170 pages maintains its reputation as a sound introduction to the poet and his works. A thirty-page chapter on The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is sensible and straightforward.
Lowes, John Livingston. The Road to Xanadu: A Study in the Ways of the Imagination. Rev. ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1931. In this classic work of literary scholarship, Lowes attempts to illuminate The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by a seemingly exhaustive examination of the poet’s reading, which was wide. Captivating as the source hunt is, Lowes tells readers little about what the poem might actually mean.
McFarland, Thomas. Coleridge and the Pantheist Tradition. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press, 1969. Wide-ranging assessment of Coleridge’s coherence of thought, including his literary, theological, and philosophical ideas.
Newlyn, Lucy, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Coleridge. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 2002. Contains commissioned essays by modern critics reassessing Coleridge’s poetry and other writing as well as his philosophical and theological ideas.
Piper, H. W. The Active Universe: Pantheism and the Concept of Imagination in the English Romantic Poets. London: Athlone Press, 1962. Proposes the influence of various scientific and philosophical ideas upon Coleridge, with several chapters on the poet’s intellectual development and one devoted entirely to The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.
For Further Reference
Abrams, M. H. The Mirror and the Lamp. New York: Norton, 1958. A time honored examination of the theory of Romantic poetry. Useful for background information.
Brown, C. M. The Romantic Imagination. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1949. An insightful study of a complex subject. Useful for background information.
Doughty, Oswald. Perturbed Spirit: The Life and Personality of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Madison, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1981. A balanced and comprehensive presentation of the facts of Coleridge's life.
Hanson, Lawrence. The Life of S. T. Coleridge: The Early Years. New York: Oxford University Press, 1939. Covers the period of Coleridge's life leading up to the composition of "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner."
Holmes, Richard. Coleridge. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1982. A volume in the Past Masters Series, this is a recently published overview of Coleridge's life and works.
Lowes, John Livingston. The Road to Xanadu . New...
(The entire section is 901 words.)