cover image Coleridge: 2early Visions

Coleridge: 2early Visions

Richard Holmes. Viking Books, $22.95 (448pp) ISBN 978-0-670-80444-3

Recent winner of England's Whitbread Prize, this first of a two-volume study of Samuel Taylor Coleridge is a work of narrative skill, outstanding scholarship and original interpretation. Unlike previous biographers who tended to dislike or mistrust Coleridge for his prevarication, unreliability, impulsiveness and desire to please and astound, Holmes ( Shelley ) admits his powerful admiration for this intense, erratic, Romantic man of letters. In addition to his straightforward biographical account, Holmes brilliantly reconsiders Coleridge's exotic poetry, his critical essays on literature, philosophy, psychology and religion, his relationships with and influence on Lamb, Southey, Wordsworth and most other writers of the period. Illustrations. (May)