Coleridge: Early Visions, 1772-1804

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Pantheon Books, 1999 - Biography & Autobiography - 622 pages
7 Reviews
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, the shifting grounds of political and religious belief.

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Review: Coleridge: Early Visions, 1772-1804 (Coleridge #1)

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An exemplary, thought-provoking biography of Coleridge, this first volume takes him up to age 31 and leaves him on board a ship to Malta. Terrific insights into the poetry, the metaphysics and ... Read full review

Review: Coleridge: Early Visions, 1772-1804 (Coleridge #1)

User Review  - Goodreads

A wonderful biography of a poet I thought I knew. Holmes' scholarly and sensitive account of Coleridge's life up to its halfway point --32--covers his stormy early life, his erratic youth and his ... Read full review


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About the author (1999)

Richard Holmes is the author of Footsteps: Adventures of a Romantic Biographer, Dr. Johnson and Mr. Savage (both available from Vintage Books), and Shelley: The Pursuit, for which he won the Somerset Maugham Prize. A fellow of the British Academy, he was awarded an OBE in 1992. He lives in England.

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