The Life of S. T. Coleridge: The Early Years

The Life of S. T. Coleridge: The Early Years

The Life of S. T. Coleridge: The Early Years

The Life of S. T. Coleridge: The Early Years

Excerpt

No-one can attempt a biography of S. T. Coleridge without first recording his peculiar indebtedness to the labours of two men who first kept alive, then steadily increased interest in the poet when other pens were still. Of the published works of Ernest Hartley Coleridge it is scarcely necessary to speak. His Anima Poetae and his editions of the Poems and the Letters are familiar to all interested in S. T. Coleridge. What can perhaps be appreciated fully only by those following a path similar to the one trodden by E. H. Coleridge is the prodigious labour that took place in preparation for the writing of the ill-fated Life of his grandfather. To see and examine the mass of material gathered patiently and over a long period of years by E. H. Coleridge is to realize and so to attempt to express the very great obligation incurred by those who follow after and enjoy the benefit of another man's industry. I now and very gladly make this acknowledgment.

To James Dykes Campbell, friend of E. H. Coleridge, a debt scarcely less heavy remains to be paid. By his editions of the Poems and the Christabel and by his many articles and speeches upon Coleridgean subjects, J. Dykes Campbell has placed future biographers under a deep obligation; but perhaps by nothing so much as his Narrative of the Life of S. T. Coleridge, which, intended to serve only until the full Life by E. H. Coleridge became available, has remained to this day the standard Life of its subject--a work for which the biographer of Coleridge must have not only gratitude, not only admiration, but upon which he is dependent to a quite unusual degree.

I wish to express my very deep appreciation of the kindness of the Rev. G. H. B. Coleridge, who has given me every facility to examine his Coleridge MSS. and permission to draw upon it in my work.

To Miss Catherine M. Maclean I am indebted for her kindness in reading the book in proof and for making valuable suggestions. I must also thank Mr Edmund Blunden for reading through proofs of the book and for his very helpful annotations. Professor . . .

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