The Oxford Handbook of Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The Oxford Handbook of Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The Oxford Handbook of Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The Oxford Handbook of Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Synopsis

A practical and comprehensive reference work, the Oxford Handbook provides the best single-volume source of original scholarship on all aspects of Coleridge's diverse writings. Thirty-seven chapters, bringing together the wisdome of experts from across the world, present an authoritative, in-depth, and up-to-date assessment of a major author of British Romanticism. The book is divided into sections on Biography, Prose Works, Poetic Works, Sources and Influences, and Reception. The Coleridge scholar today has ready access to a range of materials previously available only in library archives on both sides of the Atlantic. The Bollingen edition, of the Collected Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, forty years in production was completed in 2002. The Coleridge Notebooks(1957-2002) were also produced during this same period, five volumes of text with an additional five companion volumes of notes. The Clarendon Press of Oxford published the letters in six volumes (1956-1971). To take full advantage of the convenient access and new insight provided by these volumes, the Oxford Handbook examines the entire range and complexity of Coleridge's career. It analyzes the many aspects of Coleridge's literary, critical, philosophical, and theological pursuits, and it furnishes both students and advanced scholars with the proper tools for assimilating and illuminating Coleridge's rich and varied accomplishments, as well as offering an authoritative guide to the most up-to-date thinking about his achievements.

Excerpt

Forty years in production, the Bollingen edition of the Collected Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge was completed in 2002. The Coleridge Notebooks (1957–2002) were also produced during this same period, five volumes of text with an additional five companion volumes of notes. The Clarendon Press of Oxford published the letters in six volumes (1956–71). The Coleridge scholar today has ready access to a range of materials previously available only in library archives on both sides of the Atlantic. In spite of the new insight provided by these volumes into the range and complexity of Coleridge’s literary career, there has yet been no adequate guide to their potential value. With a voracious appetite for books, Coleridge characterized himself as ‘a library cormorant’. Thomas McFarland, editor of Coleridge’s Opus Maximum (2002), the last volume to appear in the Bollingen edition, said that Coleridge was a ‘graveyard for biographers’ because no single author could begin to comprehend the extensive knowledge invested in the vast array of his literary, critical, philosophical, and theological pursuits. A Handbook, bringing together the wisdom of thirty-five Coleridge scholars, will provide the proper tool for assimilating and illuminating Coleridge’s rich and varied accomplishment, as well as offering an authoritative guide to the most up-to-date thinking about his achievements.

Each of the thirty-seven chapters provides an ample summary of its topic and also a depth of probing analysis. The principal aim of this Oxford Handbook is to provide a guide to Coleridge studies with comprehensive reference to the Collected Works, the Notebooks, and Letters as well as to current scholarship.

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