March 10, 2013

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Samuel Taylor Coleridge
A leading 19th century English Romantic poet and  literary critic
  • Full Name: Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  • Pseudonyms: Gnome, Zagri, and Nehemiah Higginbottom
  • Birth: October 21, 1772
  • Death: July 25, 1834
  • Place of Birth: Devonshire, England
  • Place of Death: Highgate, London, England
  • Cause of death: Heart Failure
  • Buried at: St. Michael's Church, Highgate, London, England
  • Religion: Anglican/Episcopalian
  • Father: Reverend John Coleridge (1719-1781)
  • Mother: Anne Bowden Coleridge (1726-1809)
  • Siblings:  9 siblings and 4 half siblings:
  1. Brother:  John Coleridge (1754-1787)
  2. Brother:  William Coleridge (1755-1756)
  3. Brother:  William Coleridge (1758-1780)
  4. Brother:  James Coleridge (1759-1836)
  5. Brother:  Edward Coleridge (1760-1843)
  6. Brother:  George Coleridge (1764-1828)
  7. Brother:  Luke Coleridge (1765-1790)
  8. Sister:  Anne "Nancy" Coleridge (1767-1791)
  9. Brother:  Francis Coleridge (1770-1792)
  • Marriage: October 4, 1795
  • Spouse: Sara Fricker Coleridge (1770-1845)
  • Children:
  1. Son:  Hartley Coleridge (1796-1849)
  2. Son:  Berkeley Coleridge (1798-1799)
  3. Son:  Derwent Coleridge (1800-1883)
  4. Daughter:  Sara Coleridge (1803-1852)
  • Girlfriend: Sara Hutchinson
  • Education: Christ's Hospital, London; Jesus College, Cambridge
  • Known for: known for his contribution in heralding the English Romantic movement with William Wordsworth.
  • Criticised for: ruining his poetic career for opium addiction
  • Influences: William Shakespeare, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Mary Shelley, William Wordsworth, Emanuel Swedenborg
  • Influenced: John Stuart Mill, William Hazlitt, Robert Pinsky, Theodore Parker, Hall Caine


"With no other privilege than that of sympathy and sincere good wishes, I would address an affectionate exhortation to the youthful literati, grounded on my own experience. It will be but short; for the beginning, middle, and end converge to one charge: NEVER PURSUE LITERATURE AS A TRADE."
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Biographia Literaria, Chapter XI

Major Themes:

  • The transformative power of the imagination
  • The interplay of philosophy, religious piety and poetry
  • Nature and the development of the individual
  • Man's relationship with nature
  • Childhood
  • Innocence
  • Dreams/Sleep
  • Happiness
  • Evening/Night

Notable Works:

  • Arch (1798)
  • Arch (1800)
  • Biographia Literaria (1907)
  • Christabel: Kubla Khan, a Vision; The Pains of Sleep (1816)
  • Fears in Solitude (1798)
  • Lyrical Ballads, with a few Other Poems (1798)
  • Poems (1803)
  • Poems on Various Subjects (1796)
  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Oxford Authors (1985)
  • Selections from the Sybilline Leaves of S. T. Coleridge (1827)
  • Sibylline Leaves: A Collection of Poems (1817)
  • Sonnets from various authors (1796)
  • The Collected Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1969)
  • The Complete Poetical Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1912)
  • The Devil's Walk: A Poem (1830)
  • The Literary Remains in Prose and Verse of Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1839)
  • The Poetical Works of S. T. Coleridge (1828)
  • A Moral and Political Lecture (1795)
  • Aids to Reflection in the Formation of a Manly Character (1825)
  • Biographia Literaria, or Biographical Sketches of my Literary Life and Opinions (1817)
  • Collected Letters of Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1973)
  • Conciones ad Populum, or Addresses to the People (1795)
  • Confessions of an Inquiring Spirit (1841)
  • Essays on His Own Times; forming a second series of "The Friend," (1850)
  • Hints towards the Formation of a more Comprehensive Theory of Life (1848)
  • On the Constitution of Church and State (1830)
  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Selected Letters (1987)
  • Seven Lectures upon Shakespeare and Milton (1856)
  • Specimens of the Table Talk of the late Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1835)
  • The Friend: A Literary, Moral, and Political Weekly Paper (1810)
  • The Friend; A Series of Essays (1812)
  • The Letters of Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1895)
  • The Notebooks of Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1957)
  • The Philosophical Lectures of Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1949)
  • The Plot Discovered, or an Address to the People Against Ministerial Treason (1795)
  • The Statesman's Manual, or The Bible the Best Guide to Political Skill and Foresight: A Lay Sermon (1816)
  • Unpublished Letters of Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1932)
  • Zapolya: A Christmas Tale (1817)
  • Remorse, A Tragedy, in Five Acts (1813)
  • The Fall of Robespierre. An Historic Drama (1794)
  • The Watchman: A Periodical Publication (1796)

Did You Know?

  • Coleridge frequently wrote in pseudonym as he disliked his first name.
  • His father married twice (first wife: Mary Lendon (1719 - 1753); second wife: Anne Bowdon).
  • His father had three daughters by his first wife about whom nothing is known.
  • Coleridge was the youngest of nine siblings and three half-siblings in the family.
  • Five of the poet’s elder brothers and his only sister were in their graves before he was twenty one.
  • Like his father Coleridge was also an avid reader.
  • Coleridge was an over sleeper, he often deviated  from plans and missed schedules.
  • Coleridge spent the last eighteen years of his life at Highgate, near London, England, as a patient under the care of Dr. James Gillman.
  • Coleridge never got the chance to finish some of his  best works which he spent years working on.
  • Almost all of his great works lacked the true reflection of his potentials.
  • Coleridge often left his mail unopened in the fear that it might contain bad news.
  • His first major poem, The Eolian Harp was published in 1796 in his  Poems on Various Subjects.
  • In 1809 Coleridge started to publish his own newspaper, The Friend, which unfortunately closed just  after only 28 issues.
  • For few years Coleridge wrote mediocre poetry since opium damaged his creative power
  • Coleridge not only coined the word 'selfless,' he also  introduced the word 'aesthetic' to the English language.
  • Coleridge had an unhappy conjugal life and therefore, he spent much of his time apart from his wife.
  • His marriage started to fail when he fell love with Sara Hutchinson, Wordsworth's sister-in-law.
  • In 1793 Coleridge whimsically decided to be enlisted in the Army (15th Light Dragoons), where he proved to be a terrible soldier.
  • In 1795 Coleridge befriended William Wordsworth.
  • In 1798 Coleridge collaborated with Wordsworth for the publication of the joint volume of poetry entitled Lyrical Ballads.
  • Coleridge left Cambridge without finishing his degree.
  • Coleridge had financial problems throughout his life for which he had to depend on the support of others.
  • Coleridge's father had always wanted his son to be a clergyman.
  • Although Coleridge separated from his wife in 1806, he never divorced her and continued to support her.
  • Coleridge fell in love with Mary Evans, the older sister of Tom Evans, his friend while staying with the Evans family in London during his first vacation from Cambridge at Christmas in 1791.
  • At the time of Coleridge’s birth his father was fifty three and  his mother forty five years old
  • His brothers constantly punished him since he was favourite child of their mother.
  • Although Coleridge had an unpolished appearance with long  disordered hair, he was able to attract women like a spellbinder.

“Samuel Taylor Coleridge.” 1997 - 2013. Academy of American Poets.
25 February 2012

“Samuel Taylor Coleridge Biography.” Encyclopedia of World Biography. 2013.
Advameg, Inc.25 November 2012
< >.

“Samuel Taylor Coleridge.” Shmoop. 1999-2013. Shmoop University, Inc.
25 November 2012

“Samuel Taylor Coleridge.” 2013. November 2012
< >.

“Samuel Taylor Coleridge.” Wikipedia. 2013. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
25 February 2012

Tanvir Shameem Tanvir Shameem is not the biggest fan of teaching, but he is doing his best to write on various topics of language and literature just to guide thousands of students and researchers across the globe. You can always find him experimenting with presentation, style and diction. He will contribute as long as time permits. You can find him on:

1 comment:

  1. Hello there,

    I have really enjoyed reading through your blog. You have some real quality content here along with some very informative posts and great reviews/biography notes. I think it would be worth sharing with more people and I believe I could help to get you new readers if you are interested.

    I am looking for passionate writers to join our community of bloggers and I was wondering whether you would consider sharing your posts on Glipho and become a member?

    It might be a good idea to give your writing and your blog more exposure while having fun and meeting fellow writers.

    Please check us out at and drop me a line at for any questions.



Random Articles