Coleridge, Samuel Taylor biographical name
(born Oct. 21, 1772, Ottery St. Mary, Devonshire, Eng.died July 25, 1834, Highgate, near London) English poet, critic, and philosopher. Coleridge studied at the University of Cambridge, where he became closely associated with Robert Southey. In his poetry he perfected a sensuous lyricism that was echoed by many later poets. Lyrical Ballads (1798; with William Wordsworth), containing the famous Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Frost at Midnight, heralded the beginning of English Romanticism. Other poems in the fantastical style of the Mariner include the unfinished Christabel and the celebrated Pleasure Dome of Kubla Khan. While in a bad marriage and addicted to opium, he produced Dejection: An Ode (1802), in which he laments the loss of his power to produce poetry. Later, partly restored by his revived Anglican faith, he wrote Biographia Literaria, 2 vol. (1817), the most significant work of general literary criticism of the Romantic period. Imaginative and complex, with a unique intellect, Coleridge led a restless life full of turmoil and unfulfilled possibilities.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, detail of an oil painting by Washington Allston, 1814; in the National
—Courtesy of The National Portrait Gallery, London
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