The publication in 1798 of Lyrical Ballads, written by William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834), is considered to be the starting point of the Romantic movement. Published in the first series of English Men of Letters in 1884, this biography by H. D. Traill (1842-1900), who also wrote on Sterne for the series, sets Coleridge's work within the context of his troubled childhood, his travels, and the depression and financial crises that plagued his life. The first writer to attempt a detailed account of Coleridge's life and work - which ranged from poetry, journalism and literary criticism to history, philosophy and theology - Traill admits to some difficulty in tracing source material, particularly as Coleridge's theological and philosophical writings were largely incomplete, and remained unpublished at his death. Nonetheless he reveals something of both the writer and also the man famously described by Lamb as 'an Archangel a little damaged'.
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Table of Contents
Prefatory note; Poetical Period: 1. 1772-93. Birth, parentage, and early years; 2. 1794-7. The Bristol Lectures; 3. 1797-9. Coleridge and Wordsworth; Critical Period: 4. 1799-1800. Visit to Germany; 5. 1800-4. Life at Keswick; 6. 1806-9. Stay at Malta; 7. 1809-10. Return to the Lakes; 8. 1810-6. London again; Metaphysical and Theological Period: 9. 1816-8. Life at Highgate; 10. 1818-34. Closing years; 11. Coleridge's metaphysics and theology; 12. Coleridge's position in his later years.