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02.11.2018

Painted ships on painted oceans: Contemporary staging effects in The Rime

by Rebekah Owens   These days we think of Coleridge primarily as a poet, but when he was writing The Rime of the Ancient Mariner he had playwriting very much on his mind. After collaborating with Robert Southey on the verse drama The Fall of Robespierre, in 1797, the year before the first version of […]

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04.06.2018

'A deep Romantic chasm': exploring the valley where Coleridge wrote Kubla Khan

by Peter Fiennes   It interests me, the idea that the spirit of a person lingers in a place long after they are gone. You can feel them in their homes, soon after they’ve died (or after they’ve left – we don’t have to kill them off…), although you could say that what we’re sensing […]

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05.02.2018

Revisiting Coleridge's poem, 'When Absent Soon To Meet Again'

by Adam Roberts This may be stating the obvious, but the opening prose section of this Coleridge March 1810 Notebook entry (much scribbled over and crossed out in the original) is actually a run-on draft of a poem. Now, lines 5-20 of the set-as-verse section of this, the passage beginning ‘I have experienc’d/The worst, the […]

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01.11.2017

Sara Hutchinson, Coleridge's 'Asra'

by Adam Roberts ‘Asra’ was Coleridge’s private name for Sara Hutchinson (1775-1835). There she is, in the image below (from Richard Holmes’s Coleridge: Darker Reflections, 1998); on the left Wordsworth’s own silhouette of her, and on the right a figure from Ciro Ferri’s ‘The Marriage of Boas and Ruth’, that Coleridge saw in Bolton Abbey in […]

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07.08.2017

'The Albatross': From Rime to opera

by Sinéad O’Neill Melville was right when he wrote, of the Albatross, ‘that white phantom sails in all imaginations.’ It sailed then, and it sails still. Coleridge’s poem on the same subject also haunts the collective imagination. It has certainly caught my fancy, enough to make me want to create an opera. Even people unfamiliar […]

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06.07.2017

In the footsteps of Coleridge in the Quantocks

by Tiffany Francis   We had gorged on sticky ginger loaf until, feeling plump, we stepped out into the garden to admire the garlic mustard and bluebells drooped in the April air. Through the tall grasses we followed a pathway to the back of the garden where Samuel Taylor Coleridge himself sat reluctantly beneath that […]

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22.02.2017

'Flashes upon the inward eye’ : Wordsworth, Coleridge and ‘Flashing Flowers’

by Fred Blick Few readers will be aware of the ‘Elizabeth Linnaeus phenomenon’ today; yet over a span of almost two hundred years botanists, gardeners and scientists speculated about it. Elizabeth was the eldest daughter of the famous botanist, Carl Linné, known as Linnaeus. One evening in the early 1760s, she was enjoying her father’s […]

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08.08.2016

Diets of the Romantic poets

by Andrew McConnell Stott Cartoon by Mike Barfield The most notable meal in the history of English Romantic poetry took place on a Sunday afternoon in late December, 1817, as a garrulous group of men assembled at the London home of the artist, Benjamin Robert Haydon. The guests included William Wordsworth, the essayist Charles Lamb, […]

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