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Coleridge : Darker Reflections, 1804-1834

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Coleridge: Darker Reflections, 1804-1834 <br />Format: Hardcover <br />Authors: Richard Holmes <br />ISBN10: 0679438475 <br />Published: 1999-03-23

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Coleridge: Darker Reflections, 1804-1834
Format: Hardcover
Authors: Richard Holmes
ISBN10: 0679438475
Published: 1999-03-23 Richard Holmes'sColeridge: Early Visionswon the 1989 Whitbread Book of the Year Prize.Coleridge: Darker Reflections, the long-awaited second volume, chronicles the last thirty years of his career (1804-1834), a period of domestic and professional turmoil. His marriage foundered, his opium addiction increased, he quarreled bitterly with Wordsworth, and his son, Hartley (a gifted poet himself), became an alcoholic. But after a desperate time of transition, Coleridge reemerged as a new kind of philosophical and meditative author, a great and daring poet, and a lecturer of genius. Holmes traces the development of Coleridge into a legend among the younger generation of Romantic writers--the "hooded eagle amongst blinking owls"--and the influence he had on Hazlitt, De Quincey, Byron, Shelley, Keats, Walter Scott, Carlyle, and J. S. Mill, among others. And he rediscovers Coleridge's power as a conversationalist and a ceaseless generator of ideas. As Charles Lamb noted, "his face when he repeats his verses hath its ancient glory, an Archangel a little damaged." Although Coleridge's later life was not a happy one, it is continually fascinating. As Holmes brings it vividly to life in these pages, we feel his hopeless heartaches, his moments of elation, his electrifying creativity and boundless energy, his unfailing ability to rescue himself from the darkest abyss. The result is a brilliantly animated, superbly detailed, wondrously provocative portrait of an extraordinary artist and an even more extraordinary human being.


Series Title
Knopf Publishing Group
Book Format
Number of Pages
Richard Holmes
Publication Date
March, 1999
Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)
9.57 x 6.61 x 1.48 Inches

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This second volume in ...

This second volume in Holmes' masterly biography of Coleridge continues to bring to life the poet in all his genius, unstoppable talk and unbearable unreliability. Holmes animates for us the scudding play of light and shade across Coleridge's life, richly filling out his triumphs and sorrows, and opening the door to those of us who may have been less familiar with it, to Coleridge's critical and political writings. Holmes never lets the action stand still. Even Coleridge's most desperate times and laconic lapses form part of the continuous tumult of his life. One is swept along emotionally by Holmes' handling, which is never sentimental, but which always turns a solicitous critical eye upon his subject. At the end, surrounded by the shapes of what he might have achieved, Coleridge can turn and look down on the vista of what he actually did: more than enough. That Holmes can take us on the rollercoaster journey of Coleridge's dreams and schemes and failures, and bring us to the end with a sense of Coleridge's legacy despite all this, marks another triumph for Holmes as one of our foremost biographers. A fantastic book, filled with insight and asides, and generative of thought and reflection in the reader on many levels. More than the story of Coleridge's life, it captures our interest in Coleridge's thought, feeling and philosophy with a vivid dance of detail that recalls Coleridge's own captivating speech.

Second volume of Holme...

Second volume of Holmes' two volume biography of Coleridge. This is a meticulous and scholarly work (this volume alone has sixty pages of references and indexes as well as numerous footnotes). Despite this it is an interesting and readable book. Holmes draws on Coleridge's unpublished works and notebooks, as well as unpublished correspondence between his friends and contemporaries. Most people think of Coleridge as a poet and opium addict, to his contemporaries he was an opium addict and genius - a brilliant speaker, an original philosopher, a campaigning journalist, a linguist and translator - in all, a remarkable man. Recommended to any one interested in the early 19th century or the lakes poets.

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