Winner of the 1989 Whitbread Prize for Book of the Year, this is the first volume of Holmes’s seminal two-part examination of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, one of Britain’s greatest poets.‘Coleridge: Early Visions’ is the first part of Holmes’s classic biography of Coleridge that forever transformed our view of the poet of ‘Kubla Khan’ and his place in the Romantic Movement. Dismissed by much recent scholarship as an opium addict, plagiarist, political apostate and mystic charlatan, Richard Holmes’s Coleridge leaps ...
Winner of the 1989 Whitbread Prize for Book of the Year, this is the first volume of Holmes’s seminal two-part examination of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, one of Britain’s greatest poets.‘Coleridge: Early Visions’ is the first part of Holmes’s classic biography of Coleridge that forever transformed our view of the poet of ‘Kubla Khan’ and his place in the Romantic Movement. Dismissed by much recent scholarship as an opium addict, plagiarist, political apostate and mystic charlatan, Richard Holmes’s Coleridge leaps out of the page as a brilliant, animated and endlessly provoking figure who invades the imagination.This is an act of biographical recreation which brings back to life Coleridge’s poetry and encyclopaedic thought, his creative energy and physical presence. He is vivid and unexpected. Holmes draws the reader into the labyrinthine complications of his subject’s personality and literary power, and faces us with profound questions about the nature of creativity, the relations between sexuality and friendship, and the shifting grounds of political and religious belief.Note that it has not been possible to include the same picture content that appeared in the original print version.
Recent winner of England's Whitbread Prize, this first of a two-volume study of Samuel Taylor Coleridge is a work of narrative skill, outstanding scholarship and original interpretation. Unlike previous biographers who tended to dislike or mistrust Coleridge for his prevarication, unreliability, impulsiveness and desire to please and astound, Holmes ( Shelley ) admits his powerful admiration for this intense, erratic, Romantic man of letters. In addition to his straightforward biographical account, Holmes brilliantly reconsiders Coleridge's exotic poetry, his critical essays on literature, philosophy, psychology and religion, his relationships with and influence on Lamb, Southey, Wordsworth and most other writers of the period. Illustrations. (May)
A winner of the Whitbread Prize for biography, this first of what will be a two-volume biography of Coleridge is superb. Holmes ( Footsteps, LJ 9/15/85; Shelly, LJ 5/15/75) has indeed ``taken Coleridge into the open air.'' By brushing aside the givens of critical opinion without dismissing them and making extensive use of the letters and notebooks, a fresher Coleridge emerges. It is still the Coleridge with drug and financial problems, a tendency toward plagiarism and murky thought, the dreaming schemer, but he somehow comes out of this account more a fascinating character than a literary relic. The British rave-ish reviews are well deserved, as this work promises to become a standard. The one thing Holmes tends to gloss over is Coleridge's philosophical background, but this background is well covered elswhere, and Holmes hints that he may do more in Volume 2. Definitely buy this title over Stephen Weissman's His Brother's Keeper: A Psychobiography of Samuel Taylor Coleridge ( LJ 1/90).-- Robert E. Brown, Onondaga Cty. P.L., Syracuse, N.Y.
Richard Holmes was born in London in 1945 and educated at Downside School and Churchill College, Cambridge.In 1974 he published Shelley: The Pursuit which won the Somerset Maugham Award and was described by Stephen Spender as ‘surely the best biography of Shelley ever written’. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and in 1992 was awarded an OBE.He lives in London and Norwich with the novelist Rose Tremain.