Coleridge, Samuel Taylor

21 October 1772 - 25 July 1834

Poet, critic, lecturer, Unitarian minister, moralizer, world-class talker, friend of William Wordsworth, and one of the most canonical (for what that's worth) figures of the British Romantic period, Coleridge (or STC, as he often referred to himself) is the "major" Romantic figure most associated with the Gothic, both now and in his lifetime. This is due largely to the popularity of his so-called "mystery poems": "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," "Kubla Khan," and "Christabel," poems which were responsible for much of STC's popular fame in his time and which remain wonderful "Gothic" poems today. STC also wrote some important critical discussions of supernaturalism and the sublime which have some relevance to the tradition. But if these poems (at least the first of which still occassionally attracts the attention of heavy-metal bands) are all you know of STC, you don't really know STC; his place in literary history has as much to do with his formative influence on William Wordsworth, his literary criticism, his philosophical essays, and his world-class talk as it does with his mystery poems.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge Archive
An impressive collection of etexts, biographical information, links, even some critical analyses—a site well worth examining. [Etext Center, UVa]
Coleridge Overview
Biographical and contextual information. The usual wonderful stuff from Victorian Web.
Biographical essay
[Seamus Perry, U Glasgow; Literary Encyclopedia]
Friends of Coleridge Society
A literary society which "aims to foster interest in the life and works of the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge and his circle, and to support Coleridge Cottage." Includes links to STC resources as well as articles and STC-related news.
Biographical note
Biographical note
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Biographical note and overview
[Columbia Encyclopedia,]
Biographical note
[Gale Group Publishing]
Biographical note
[The Authors Calendar]
Brief biographical note
[Literature Network]
Biographical note
Includes brief bibliography. [Academy of American Poets]
Coleridge webguide
Brief biographical note
[Gothic Labyrinth]
Biographical note
Discusses STC as a writer of "natural history" in the Romantic period. [Ashton Nichols, Dickinson College]
Brief biographical note a LitGothic etext
[John W. Cousins, A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature, 1910]
Coleridge Hyper-Concordance
Part of the The Victorian Literary Studies Archive, this concordance allows you to search etexts by STC, including all of the "mystery poems."
Coleridge portraits
[National Portrait Gallery, London]

"Christabel" [1797]
With one of the most "Gothic" opening lines in all of Romantic poetry, followed by intimations of witchery and what may — or may not — be a lesbian lamia, this is one of the classic Romantic supernaturalist poems. [Etext Center, UVa]

"Kubla Khan" [1798]
A poem of magic and will and the creative imagination. [Etext Center, UVa]

"Rime of the Ancient Mariner"
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[First published 1797; the revised version, which includes the added marginal gloss as well as changes to the text, was published in 1817. Etexts below are of the 1817 edition unless otherwise noted.]
STC's most well-known poem, this major contribution to the Romantic and Gothic traditions is a powerful rendition of the Romantic quest, a journey of suffering, expiation, guilt and the assertion of Self.
- at Project Bartleby (113K) (includes marginal gloss — actually in the margin!
- at Project Gutenberg (32K) note: no marginal gloss
- a concordance and full text (1797 version) opens in new tab/window [R. J. C. Watt, U of Dundee]

"The Pains of Sleep" [1803]
A powerful poetic glimpse into a troubled mind, Gothic in its imagery and intensity. [Etext Center, UVa]

"Dejection: An Ode" [1802]
STC could struggle with despair and a sort of proto-existentialist gloom like no other Romantic poet (though John Clare comes close), and in these works Coleridge gives us dark glimpses into Romantic understandings of the mind and the emotions, a process begun by the Gothic. [Etext Center, UVa]

"Despair" [1810]
As the title indicates.... [Etext Center, UVa]

Ch. XIV of the Biographia Literaria
This section of STC's major non-poetic work has some bearing on his "Gothic" poems and his theory of supernaturalist literature. [Michael Gamer, U Penn]

STC's Reviews of Gothic Novels.
The review of The Monk is believed to be authentic; the authorship of the other reviews is in dispute, and, in the case of the reviews of The Italian and The Mysteries of Udolpho, it is certain that STC was not the author. [Michael Gamer, U Penn]

Essays and Reviews:
"Archaisms in 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner'"
by Margaret J.-M. Sonmez [Cardiff Corvey: Reading the Romantic Text: 9 (Dec 2002)]
"'Supernatural, or at Least Romantic': the Ancient Mariner and Parody"
by Stephen E. Jones.  A consideration of the parodic and satiric possibilities of the "Ancient Mariner," including an assertion of STC's own subsequent "parodic" and ironic stance relative to the text of the poem. [Romanticism on the Net]
"sex/text: "Christabel" and the Christabelliads"
by Chris Koenig-Woodyard.  An examination of Romantic parodies of "Christabel," with an interesting discussion of the poem's problematic sexual aspect. [Romanticism on the Net]
"A Hypertext History of the Transmission of Coleridge's 'Christabel,' 1800-1816"
by Chris Koenig-Woodyard  [Romanticism on the Net]
"Eclipsed by the Pleasure Dome: Poetic Failure in Coleridge's 'Kubla Khan'"
by David S. Hogsette  [Romanticism on the Net]
"The Animal and the Self: Coleridge's 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner' and Poe's 'The Raven'"
by Carlo Martinez III  [Prometheus Unplugged?]

"Samuel Taylor Coleridge."