Coleridge is admired as a genius and derided as an opium addict and plagiarist. The aim here has been to examine his experiences, moods, thoughts, and reactions as a whole and their relation to poems such as Christabel, the Ancient Mariner, and the Dejection ode, and to his prose works, and also to look at many of his own statements made mainly in the privacy of his notebooks about his aims and purposes. The result of the new compound should alter some of the uninformed and prejudiced generalizations about Coleridge. The new picture is of a man and poet more human, more inquiring, more sceptical, whose strength and intellectual stature can fully be understood only against a background of suffering and loneliness; a critical, radical imagination is seen not only struggling to survive but to achieve creatively in the process.
One of the world's pre-eminent Coleridge scholars, Kathleen Coburn brings a long association with and intimate knowledge of Coleridge's writings, both published and unpublished, to this sensitive study of a complex mind and personality.
About the author
Kathleen Coburn (1905-1991) was a professor emeritus of English at the University of Toronto, General Editor of the Collected Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and editor of the Notebooks. She is the author of numerous books, including In Pursuit of Coleridge and Experience into Thought: Perspectives in the Coleridge Notebooks.