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Coleridge's Play of Mind

Overview

Eminent Coleridgean scholar John Beer presents a series of biographical investigations exploring Coleridge's life, stage by stage, and reconsidering the intellectual quality of his thinking and poetry through an emphasis on the notion of 'play'. Beginning and ending with brief accounts of the poet's childhood and last years, the book's twelve chapters each take a passage of Coleridge's life and characterise the nature and function of an abiding playful element in his consciousness. In combination they form a ...

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Overview

Eminent Coleridgean scholar John Beer presents a series of biographical investigations exploring Coleridge's life, stage by stage, and reconsidering the intellectual quality of his thinking and poetry through an emphasis on the notion of 'play'. Beginning and ending with brief accounts of the poet's childhood and last years, the book's twelve chapters each take a passage of Coleridge's life and characterise the nature and function of an abiding playful element in his consciousness. In combination they form a detailed, full, and humane treatment of Coleridge's life, focusing on topics such as his interest in psychology, his poetry, his literary collaboration with William and Dorothy Wordsworth, his hopeless love for William's sister-in-law, his literary criticism, including a new approach to Shakespeare, and his work towards a refreshing of contemporary religious beliefs and practices.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A vividly compelling portrait of a cast of mind, persuasive in no small part because its author is so finely attuned to the way that the mind he describes is a thing both of 'comprehensiveness and subtlety' and yet also of 'vulnerability': the life possesses a 'strange heroism' as Beer says, but it is a heroic nevertheless, and John Beer is its greatest interpreter." —The Wordsworth Circle
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199574018
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2010
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

John Beer is well known for his work on English Romantic literature. He has lectured in India and the U.S.A. as well as at Manchester and Cambridge.

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Table of Contents

Abbreviations
Bibliography
Introduction
1. The Missing Playground
2. Fantastic Sportiveness
3. Dances of the Intellect and Emotions
4. Coleridge and Mackintosh: Revisionary Poet and Simpering 'Dung-Fly'
5. Nature, Poetry and the Vicissitudes of Love
6. Coleridge, Tom Wedgwood and Conceptions of the Mind
7. Wordsworthian Naturalism and the Coleridgean Sublime
8. Public Journalism, Private Affections
9. Politics, Principle and The Friend
10. Fascinations of the Esoteric
11. The Poet as Critic, Critic as Poet
12. Shakespeare's Plays of Passion
13. Mental Energies, Ancient and Modern
14. Interinvolving Guilt and Innocence
15. Lucency and Florescences
16. Questioning Closure
17. 'Obstinate in Resurrection'
Index

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