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Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The English author Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) was a major poet of the romantic movement. He is also noted for his prose works on literature, religion, and the organization of society.

Born on Oct. 21, 1772, Samuel Taylor Coleridge was the tenth and last child of the vicar of Ottery St. Mary near Exeter. In 1782, after his father's death, he was sent as a charity student to Christ's Hospital. His amazing memory and his eagerness to imbibe knowledge of any sort had turned him into a classical scholar of uncommon ability by the time he entered Jesus College, Cambridge, in 1791. Like most young intellectuals of the day, he felt great enthusiasm for the French Revolution and took his modest share in student protest against the war with France (1793). Plagued by debts, Coleridge enlisted in the Light Dragoons in December 1793. Discharged in April 1794, he returned to Cambridge, which he left in December, however, without taking a degree.

The reason for this move, characteristic of Coleridge's erratic and impulsive character, was his budding friendship with Robert Southey. Both young men were eagerly interested in poetry, sharing the same dislike for the neoclassic tradition. They were both radicals in politics, and out of their feverish conversations grew the Pantisocratic scheme—the vision of an ideal communistic community to be founded in America. This juvenile utopia came to nothing, but on Oct. 4, 1795, Coleridge married Sara Fricker, the sister of Southey's wife-to-be. By that time, however, his friendship with Southey had already dissolved.

Poetic Career

In spite of his usually wretched health, the years from 1795 to 1802 were for Coleridge a period of fast poetic growth and intellectual maturation. In August 1795 he began his first major poem, "The Eolian Harp," which was published in his Poems on Various Subjects (1796). It announced his unique contribution to the growth of English romanticism: the blending of lyrical and descriptive effusion with philosophical rumination in truly symbolic poetry.

From March to May 1796 Coleridge edited the Watchman, a liberal periodical which failed after 10 issues. While this failure made him realize that he was "not fit for public life," his somewhat turgid "Ode to the Departing Year" shows that he had not abandoned his revolutionary fervor. Yet philosophy and religion were his overriding interests. His voracious reading was mainly directed to one end, which was already apparent in his Religious Musings (begun 1794, published 1796)—he aimed to redefine orthodox Christianity so as to rid it of the Newtonian dichotomy between spirit and matter, to account for the unity and wholeness of the universe, and to reassess the relation between God and the created world.

Perhaps the most influential event in Coleridge's career was his intimacy with William and Dorothy Wordsworth, in whose neighborhood he spent most of his life from 1796 to 1810. This friendship was partly responsible for his annus mirabilis (July 1797 to July 1798), which culminated in his joint publication with Wordsworth of the Lyrical Ballads in September 1798. As against 19 poems by Wordsworth, the volume contained only 4 by Coleridge, but one of these was "The Ancient Mariner." Coleridge later described the division of labor between the two poets—while Wordsworth was "to give the charm of novelty to things of every day by awakening the mind's attention from the lethargy of custom, and directing it to the loveliness and the wonders of the world before us," it had been agreed that Coleridge's "endeavours should be directed to persons and characters supernatural, or at least romantic." But the underlying world view of the two poets was fundamentally similar. Like Wordsworth's "The Thorn," for example, Coleridge's "The Ancient Mariner" deals with the themes of sin and punishment and of redemption through suffering and a loving apprehension of nature.

A second, enlarged edition of Coleridge's Poems also appeared in 1798. It contained further lyrical and symbolic works, such as "This Lime-Tree Bower, My Prison" and "Fears in Solitude." At this time Coleridge also wrote "Kubla Khan," perhaps the most famous of his poems, and began the ambitious narrative piece "Christabel."

In September 1798 Coleridge and the Wordsworths left for Germany, where he stayed until July 1799. In the writings of post-Kantian German philosophers such as J. G. Fichte, F. W. J. von Schelling, and A. W. von Schlegel, Coleridge discovered a world view so congenial that it is almost impossible to disentangle what, in his later thought, is properly his and what may have been derived from German influences. Sibylline Leaves (1817) contains lively, humorous accounts of his German experiences.

Personal Difficulties

The dozen years following Coleridge's return to England were the most miserable in his life. In October 1799 he settled near the Wordsworths in the Lake District. The cold, wet climate worsened his many ailments, and turning to laudanum for relief, he soon became an addict. His marriage, which had never been a success, was now disintegrating, especially since Coleridge had fallen in love with Sara Hutchinson, sister of Wordsworth's wife-to-be. Ill health and emotional stress, combined with his intellectual absorption in abstract pursuits, hastened the decline of his poetic power. Awareness of this process inspired the last and most moving of his major poems, "Dejection: An Ode"(1802). After a stay in Malta (1804-1806) which did nothing to restore his health and spirits, he decided to separate from his wife. The only bright point in his life during this period was his friendship with the Wordsworths, but after his return to the Lake District this relationship was subject to increasing strain. Growing estrangement was followed by a breach in 1810, and Coleridge then settled in London.

Meanwhile, however, Coleridge's capacious mind did not stay unemployed; indeed, his major contributions to the development of English thought were still to come. From June 1809 to March 1810 he published the periodical the Friend. Coleridge's poetry and his brilliant conversation had earned him public recognition, and between 1808 and 1819 he gave several series of lectures, mainly on Shakespeare and other literary topics. His only dramatic work, Osorio, which was written in 1797, was performed in 1813 under the title Remorse. "Christabel" and "Kubla Khan" were published in 1816.

Later Works

In April 1816 Coleridge settled as a patient with Dr. Gillman at Highgate. There he spent most of the last 18 years of his life in comparative peace and in steady literary activity, bringing out several works which were to exert tremendous influence on the future course of English thought in many fields: Biographia literaria (1817), Lay Sermons (1817), Aids to Reflection (1825), and The Constitution of Church and State (1829). His apparently rambling style was well suited to a philosophy based on an intuition of wholeness and organic unity.

Although Coleridge's conservative idea of the state may appear both reactionary and utopian, his religious thought led to a revival of Christian philosophy in England. And his psychology of the imagination, conception of the symbol, and definition of organic form in art brought to the English-speaking world the new, romantic psychology and esthetics of literature which had first arisen in Germany at the turn of the century.

When Coleridge died on July 25, 1834, he left bulky manuscript notes, which scholars of the mid-20th century were to exhume and edit. The complete publication of this material will make it possible to realize the extraordinary range and depth of his philosophical preoccupations and to assess his true impact on succeeding generations of poets and thinkers.

Further Reading

The standard work on Coleridge is E. K. Chambers, Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1938; rev. ed. 1950). Norman Fruman, Coleridge: The Damaged Archangel (1971), is a comprehensive study of the man and the poet. Two fine works that combine biography with literary criticism are William Walsh, Coleridge: The Work and the Relevance (1967), and Walter Jackson Bate, Coleridge (1968).

General critical introductions are Humphry House, Coleridge (1953); John B. Beer, Coleridge the Visionary (1959); Marshall Suther, The Dark Night of Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1960); Max F. Schulz, The Poetic Voices of Coleridge (1963); Kathleen Coburn, ed., Coleridge: A Collection of Critical Essays (1967); and Patricia M. Adair, The Waking Dream (1968).

Increasing attention is given to the poet's thought in a great variety of fields. See John H. Muirhead, Coleridge as Philosopher (1930). On esthetics see I. A. Richards, Coleridge on Imagination (1935; 3d ed. 1962); James V. Baker, The Sacred River: Coleridge's Theory of the Imagination (1957); Richard Harter Fogle, The Idea of Coleridge's Criticism (1962); and J. A. Appleyard, Coleridge's Philosophy of Literature: The Development of a Concept of Poetry, 1791-1819 (1965). On religion see Charles Richard Sanders, Coleridge and the Broad Church Movement (1942); James D. Boulger, Coleridge as Religious Thinker (1961); and J. Robert Barth, Coleridge and Christian Doctrine (1969). For general background information the reader is referred to the bibliography in W. L. Renwick, English Literature, 1789-1815 (1963).

Additional Sources

Ashton, Rosemary, The life of Samuel Taylor Coleridge: a critical biography, Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell Publishers, 1996.

Bate, Walter Jackson, Coleridge, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1987, 1968.

Campbell, James Dykes, Samuel Taylor Coleridge: a narrative of the events of his life, Norwood, Pa.: Norwood Editions, 1977.

Chambers, E. K. (Edmund Kerchever), Samuel Taylor Coleridge: a biographical study, Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1978, 1938.

Doughty, Oswald, Perturbed spirit: the life and personality of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Rutherford N.J.: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press; East Brunswick, N.J.: Associated University Presses, 1981.

Garnett, Richard, Coleridge, Philadelphia: R. West, 1977.

Gillman, James, The life of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Philadelphia: R. West, 1977.

Holmes, Richard, Coleridge: early visions, London: Hodder &Stoughton, 1989. □

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Coleridge, Samuel Taylor (1772-1834)

Coleridge, Samuel Taylor (1772-1834)

English author and mystic. Coleridge was born October 21, 1772, in Ottery St. Mary, Devonshire. He was the son of John Coleridge, a clergyman and schoolmaster who enjoyed considerable reputation as a theological scholar and was author of a Latin grammar. Samuel's childhood was spent mostly at the native village. During his youth he showed a marked aversion to games and even avoided the company of other children instead giving his time chiefly to varied reading.

"At six years of age," he writes in one of his letters to his friend, Thomas Poole, "I remember to have read Belisarius, Robinson Crusoe, and Philip Quarll, and then I found the Arabian Nights Entertainments. " In this same letter he told how the boys around him despised him for his eccentricity, the result being that he soon became a confirmed dreamer, finding in his mind a haven of refuge from the scorn leveled at him.

By the time he was nine years old, Coleridge showed a predilection for mysticism. Consequently, his father decided to make him a clergyman, and in 1782 the boy left home to go to Christ's Hospital, London. There he found among his fellow pupils at least one who shared his literary tastesCharles Lamband a warm friendship quickly sprang up between the two, while a little later Coleridge developed affection for a young girl called Mary Evans. The progress of the love affair was soon arrested, the poet leaving London in 1790 to go to Cambridge.

Beginning his university career as a sizar (undergraduate receiving an allowance from the college) at Jesus College, he soon became known as a brilliant conversationalist. He made enemies by his extreme views on politics and religion, however, and in 1793, finding himself in various difficulties, he went back to London where he enlisted in the fifteenth Dragoons. Bought out soon afterward by his relations, he returned to Cambridge, and in 1794 he published his drama The Fall of Robespierre. At Cambridge he met his lifelong friend Robert Southey, through whom he became acquainted with Sara Fricker, his future wife. Through her he made the necessary contacts to issue Poems (1796).

He began to preach occasionally in Unitarian chapels, and in 1797 he met William Wordsworth, with whom he speedily became a close friend. He joined Wordsworth in publishing Lyrical Ballads, which contains some of Coleridge's finest poems, notably "The Ryme of the Ancient Mariner." Scarcely before it was finished, he composed two other poems of comparable worth, "Christabel" and "Kubla Khan."

In 1798 he was appointed Unitarian minister at Shrewsbury; after holding this post for a little while, he went to travel in Germany, the requisite funds having been given him by Josiah and Thomas Wedgwood, both keen admirers of Coleridge's philosophical powers. They believed that study on the Continent would be of material service to him.

Among Coleridge's first acts on returning from Germany was to publish his translation of Schiller's "Wallenstein." At the same time he used a cottage at Keswick, intending to live there quietly for many years. But peace and quiet are benefits usually sought in vain by poets, and Coleridge was no exception. Early in life he had begun to take occasional doses of laudanum (opium), and now this practice developed into a habit that ruled his whole life.

In 1804, he sought relief by going to Malta, and afterward he visited Rome. On returning to England, he was happy to find that a small annuity had been left him by the Wedgwoods. He was quite incapable of shaking off the deadly drug habit, though it had not yet begun to weaken his gifts. After staying for awhile with Wordsworth at Grasmere, he delivered a series of lectures on poetry at Bristol and in London. His genius was quickly recognized in London, and he was made a pensioner of the Society of Literature, enabling him to take a small house at Highgate, where he spent most of his declining years. His remains were interred in Highgate Cemetery after his death in 1834.

Coleridge is representative of the romantic movement of the early nineteenth century, whose literary exponents wished to penetrate the mysteries of the inner self, and in pursuit of their goal often became mystics. That search was many times aided by the use of mind-altering drugs such as the laudanum to which Coleridge became addicted. Everything written by Coleridge is permeated with the romantic flavor. Apart from his metaphysical works, of which the most notable are Aids to Reflection and Confessions of an Enquiring Spirit, his Biographia Literaria and other fine contributions to critical literature are all of a mystical temper. Coleridge (more, perhaps, than any other critic, not even excepting Goethe and Walter Pater) was never content with handling the surface of things, but always reflected a striving to understand the mysterious point where artistic creation begins. For him, literature was a form of lifeone of the most mysterious forms of lifeand while he is supremely quick at noticing purely aesthetic merit and equally quick at marking defect, it is really the philosophical element in his criticism that gives it its transcendent value and interest.

Coleridge's metaphysical tendencies are equally marked in both his prose and his verse. In a singularly beautiful poem, "To the Evening Star," he tells that he gazes thereon, "Till I, myself, all spirit seem to grow." And in most of his poems, indeed, he is "all spirit," while often he spellbounds the reader into feeling something of his own spirituality. Waiving Cole-ridge's metaphysical poems altogether, it might be justly said that he introduced the occult into verse with a mastery rarely equaled in English literature.

The romantic had its dark side as well. Not only was the spiritual world explained, but often, in opening the unconscious, the world of nightmare and evil was also opened to the poets and novelists. Coleridge was no exception. Along with his mystical bent, Coleridge wrote the first vampire poem in the English language. "Christabel" tells the story of the invasion of a castle by the vampire figure Geraldine, who not only attacks the title character, but as the unfinished poem ends, has attached herself to her father.

Coleridge died on July 25, 1834 in Highgate, England.

Sources:

Coleridge, Samuel Taylor. Selected Poems. London: Oxford University Press, 1965.

Doughty, Oswald. Perturbed Spirit: The Life and Personality of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Rutherford, N.J.: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1981.

Nethercot, Arthur H. The Road to Trye: A Study of the History, Background, and Purposes of Coleridge's "Christabel." Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1939. Reprint, New York: Russell & Russell, 1962.

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Coleridge, Samuel Taylor

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Born: October 21, 1772
Devonshire, England
Died: July 25, 1834
Highgate, England

English poet and author

Samuel Taylor Coleridge was a major poet of the English Romantic period, a literary movement characterized by imagination, passion, and the supernatural. He is also noted for his works on literature, religion, and the organization of society.

Childhood talents

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the tenth and last child of the vicar of Ottery Saint Mary near Devonshire, England, was born on October 21, 1772. After his father's death in 1782, he was sent to Christ's Hospital for schooling. He had an amazing memory and an eagerness to learn. However, he described his next three years of school as, "depressed, moping, friendless." In 1791 he entered Jesus College, Cambridge, England. Because of bad debts, Coleridge joined the 15th Light Dragoons, a British cavalry unit, in December 1793. After his discharge in April 1794, he returned to Jesus College, but he left in December without completing a degree.

The reason he left was because of his developing friendship with Robert Southey (17741843). Both young men were very interested in poetry and shared the same dislike for the neoclassic tradition (a return to the Greek and Latin classics). Both were also radicals in politics. From their emotional and idealistic conversations, they developed a plan for a "pantisocracy," a vision of an ideal community to be founded in America. This plan never came to be. On October 4, 1795, Coleridge married Sara Fricker, the sister of Southey's wife-to-be. By that time, however, his friendship with Southey had already ended.

Poetic career

The years from 1795 to 1802 were for Coleridge a period of fast poetic and intellectual growth. His first major poem, "The Eolian Harp," was published in 1796 in his Poems on Various Subjects. Its verse and theme contributed to the growth of English Romanticism, illustrating a blending of emotional expression and description with meditation.

From March to May 1796 Coleridge edited the Watchman, a periodical that failed after ten issues. While this failure made him realize that he was "not fit for public life," his next poem, "Ode to the Departing Year," shows that he still had poetic passion. Yet philosophy and religion were his overriding interests. In Religious Musings (published in 1796), he wrote about the unity and wholeness of the universe and the relationship between God and the created world.

The most influential event in Coleridge's career was his friendship with William Wordsworth (17701850) and his wife Dorothy from 1796 to 1810. This friendship brought a joint publication with Wordsworth of the Lyrical Ballads, a collection of twenty-three poems, in September 1798. The volume contained nineteen of Wordsworth's poems and four of Coleridge's. The most famous of these was "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner." Coleridge later described the division of labor between the two poets: Wordsworth was "to give the charm of novelty to things of every day by awakening the mind's attention from the lethargy of custom, and directing it to the loveliness and the wonders of the world before us," while Coleridge's "endeavours should be directed to persons and characters supernatural, or at least romantic."

A second, enlarged edition of Coleridge's Poems also appeared in 1798. It contained further lyrical and symbolic works, such as "This Lime-Tree Bower, My Prison" and "Fears in Solitude." At this time Coleridge also wrote "Kubla Khan," perhaps the most famous of his poems, and began the piece "Christabel."

Personal difficulties

After spending a year in Germany with the Wordsworths, Coleridge returned to England and settled in the Lake District. For the next twelve years Coleridge had a miserable life. The climate made his many ailments worse. For pain relief he took laudanum, a type of opium drug, and soon became an addict. His marriage was failing, especially once Coleridge fell in love with Sara Hutchinson, Wordsworth's sister-in-law. Poor health and emotional stress affected his writing. However, in 1802, he did publish the last and most moving of his major poems, "Dejection: An Ode." After a two-year stay in Malta (a group of islands in the Mediterranean), he separated from his wife in 1806. The only bright point in his life was his friendship with the Wordsworths, but by 1810, after his return to the Lake District, their friendship had lessened. Coleridge then moved to London.

Meanwhile, Coleridge's poetry and his brilliant conversation had earned him public recognition, and between 1808 and 1819 he gave several series of lectures, mainly on William Shakespeare (15641616) and other literary topics. His only dramatic work, Osorio, written in 1797, was performed in 1813 under the title Remorse. "Christabel" and "Kubla Khan" were published in 1816.

Later life

Coleridge spent the last eighteen years of his life at Highgate, near London, England, as a patient under the care of Dr. James Gillman. There he wrote several works which were to have tremendous influence on the future course of English thought in many fields: Biographia literaria (1817), Lay Sermons (1817), Aids to Reflection (1825), and The Constitution of Church and State (1829).

When Coleridge died on July 25, 1834, at Highgate, he left bulky manuscript notes that scholars of the mid-twentieth century found and began editing. When the material is eventually published, scholars and the general public will realize the extraordinary range and depth of Coleridge's philosophical thoughts, and will understand his true impact on generations of poets and thinkers.

For More Information

Ashton, Rosemary. The Life of Samuel Taylor Coleridge: A Critical Biography. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Publishers, 1996.

Campbell, James Dykes. Samuel Taylor Coleridge: A Narrative of the Events of His Life. Norwood, PA: Norwood Editions, 1977.

Holmes, Richard. Coleridge: Early Visions. New York: Viking, 1990.

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Coleridge, Samuel Taylor

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1772–1834, English poet and man of letters, b. Ottery St. Mary, Devonshire; one of the most brilliant, versatile, and influential figures in the English romantic movement.

Early Life

The son of a clergyman, Coleridge was a precocious, dreamy child. He attended Christ's Hospital school in London and was already formidably erudite upon entering Cambridge in 1791. His erratic university career was interrupted by his impulsive enlistment in the dragoons, from which his brothers managed to extricate him. In 1794 he met the poet Robert Southey, who shared his political and social idealism, and together they planned to establish a small utopian community, which they called a pantisocracy, on the banks of the Susquehanna River in the United States. The plan failed to materialize for practical reasons. In 1795 Coleridge married Sarah Fricker, the sister of Southey's fiancée, with whom he was never happy. They settled in Nether Stowey in 1797, and shortly thereafter William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy moved into a house nearby.

Works

Although Coleridge had been busy and productive, publishing both poetry and much topical prose, it was not until his friendship with Wordsworth that he wrote his best poems. In 1798 Coleridge and Wordsworth jointly published the volume Lyrical Ballads, whose poems and preface made it a seminal work and manifesto of the romantic movement in English literature.

Coleridge's main contribution to the volume was the haunting, dreamlike ballad "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner." This long poem, as well as "Kubla Khan" and "Christabel," written during the same period, are Coleridge's best-known works. All three make use of exotic images and supernatural themes. "Dejection: An Ode," published in 1802, was the last of Coleridge's great poems. It shows the influence of (or affinity to) some poetic ideas of Wordsworth, notably the meditation upon self, nature, and the relationships among emotion, sense experience, and understanding. His Confessions of an Enquiring Spirit (ed. by his nephew H. N. Coleridge) was published posthumously in 1840.

Later Life

While an undergraduate Coleridge had begun to take laudanum (an opium derivative then legal and widely used) for his ailments, and he was addicted by about 1800. That year, after having traveled with Wordsworth in Germany, Coleridge moved with his family to Keswick in the Lake District. He continued his studies and writings on philosophy, religion, contemporary affairs, and literature. In 1808 he separated from his wife permanently, and from 1816 until his death he lived in London at the home of Dr. James Gilman, who brought his opium habit under control.

Assessment

Coleridge worked for many years on his Biographia Literaria (1817), containing accounts of his literary life and critical essays on philosophical and literary subjects. It presents Coleridge's theories of the creative imagination, but its debt to other writers, notably the German idealist philosophers, is often so heavy that the line between legitimate borrowing and plagiarism becomes blurred. This borrowing tendency, evident also in some of his poetry, together with Coleridge's notorious inability to finish projects—and his proposal of impractical ones—made him a problematic figure.

Coleridge's lifelong friend Charles Lamb called him a "damaged archangel." Indeed, 20th-century editorial scholarship has unearthed additional evidence of plagiarism; thus, Coleridge is still a controversial figure. However, the originality and beauty of his best poetry and his enormous influence on the intellectual and aesthetic life of his time is unquestioned. He was reputedly a brilliant conversationalist, and his lectures on Shakespeare remain among the most important statements in literary criticism.

Bibliography

See his collected letters, ed. by E. L. Griggs (6 vol., 1956–71); Notebooks: 1794–1808, ed. by K. Coburn (4 vol., 1957–61); collected works, ed. by K. Coburn (5 vol., 1969–72); biographies by E. K. Chambers (1938), L. Hanson (1938, repr. 1962), W. J. Bate (1968), and R. Holmes (2 vol., 1989, 1999); studies by J. D. Campbell (1894), C. Woodring (1961), M. Suther (1965), and N. Fruman (1972); J. L. Lowes, The Road to Xanadu (rev. ed. 1964); R. L. Brett, ed., Coleridge (1973); A. Sisman, The Friendship: Wordsworth and Coleridge (2007).



Coleridge's daughter, Sara Coleridge, 1802–52, has literary standing in her own right. Her translation of An Account of the Abipones (1822) shows a great facility in both Latin and English. Her best work is Phantasmion (1837), a fairy tale.

Bibliography

See her Memoir and Letters (1873, repr. 1974); biography by E. L. Griggs (1941, repr. 1973).

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Coleridge, Samuel Taylor

Coleridge, Samuel Taylor (1772–1834). Poet and polymath whose collaboration with Wordsworth laid the foundations for English Romanticism. Their Lyrical Ballads (1798) opened with his ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ and, although relations became strained, Coleridge's initial contribution cannot be gainsaid. Dogged by ill-health and self-doubt, his poetic career was brief and littered with unfulfilled projects: the incomplete ‘Christabel’; ‘Kubla Khan’ famously interrupted by ‘a person from Porlock’. As literary critic, if not the originator of the philosophical method he aspired to in Biographia literaria (1817), he gives a subtler account of language and morality than his predecessors. The charge of plagiarism from Schlegel, Schelling, and the German Idealists cannot be dismissed by his airy confidence that ‘Truth is a divine ventriloquist’, but there is a continuity in his thought from before his visit to Germany in 1798, when Immanuel Kant was still ‘utterly unintelligible’. Though no friend to Pitt's ministry, his ‘baby trumpet of sedition’ was already muted, and the political journalism of the Watchman (1796) and the Friend (1809) depended on ‘placing the questions of the day in a moral point of view’. His last substantial work, On the Constitution of Church and State (1830), finds him staunchly defending them as ‘two poles of the same magnet’.

John Saunders

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Coleridge, Samuel Taylor

Coleridge, Samuel Taylor (1772–1834) English poet, critic, and philosopher. In 1798 Coleridge and William Wordsworth published Lyrical Ballads, a fundamental work of English Romanticism that opened with Coleridge's ballad “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”. Christabel and Other Poems (1816) included the ballad “Christabel” and the fragment “Kubla Khan”. In 1800 Coleridge moved to the Lake District, where he fell in love with Wordsworth's sister-in-law Sara Hutchinson. Battling with opium-addiction, Coleridge produced little poetry in his later life, concentrating instead on his lectures. Biographia Literaria (1817) is both a meditation on German philosophy and a work of literary criticism.

http://lib.virginia.edu/stc/Coleridge

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Coleridge, Samuel Taylor

Coleridge, Samuel Taylor (1772–1834). Poet and thinker. Born at Ottery St Mary in Devon, he studied (somewhat chaotically) at Cambridge where he met William Wordsworth. With him he published Lyrical Ballads in 1798. Already he had, with Robert Southey, attempted to set up a communal society, Pantisocracy, putting into practice the ideals of the French Revolution. In 1798, he went to Germany to study Kant, and came under the influence of Schiller and Goethe. On his return he lectured and wrote. In religion he represents the Romantic reaction against both rationalism and dogmatic religious systems, seeing the heart of religion in human religious need. He is sometimes called the ‘father of the Broad Church’.

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