Recent Reading (up-dated)

Up-dated February 2017

Beyond preparing for a recent ekphrastic workshop in Bath, it has been a wholly Coleridge zone in the last few weeks. I’ve blogged about contributing to an evening celebrating Coleridge’s work and in preparing for that I re-read Richard Holmes’ magisterial two-volume biography.


Early Visions takes STC from childhood in Ottery St-Mary, through Pantisocracy and collaboration with Wordsworth, to his failing marriage and self imposed ‘exile’ in Malta.


Darker Visions returns him to London and Keswick, increasing opium addiction, grand literary plans and procrastination, residence in Calne, Wiltshire where he wrote Biographia Literaria, to the final years in Highgate in the company of the Gillmans.


I’d also recommend Holmes’ brief Past Masters on Coleridge which brilliantly distills the two volume biography into a few pages.


Holmes also edited a selected poems, arranged non-chronologically into genre with copious notes to accompany them.


2 thoughts on “Recent Reading (up-dated)

  1. Great postings!
    I admit when I first read Gaudete I found the looser, more relaxed poetry a great relief after the increasingly clotted, hysterical work: Cave Birds in particular.
    I have never taken to his Ovid.
    The poetry-and-photos concept was wonderful; I think River my most treasured book.


    • I remember I was given River as a leaving present from my first teaching practice school back in the early 1980s, a school in Abingdon where I’m sure I had been pretty hopeless and naive. It was a lovely and appropriate thought though.

      Liked by 1 person

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