Book: Coleridge: Volume 1. Early Visions, 1772-1804

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Coleridge: Volume 1. Early Visions, 1772-1804

Author: Richard Holmes
Publisher: Pantheon

“Poet, journalist, letter-writer, critic, autobiographer, lecturer, folklorist, philosopher: when a man’s genius is so amorphous and protean, how can any one biographer hope to encompass it? Yet, miraculously, in this first of two volumes, Richard Holmes has succeeded in doing so…. His masterly book leaves one feeling that, if there were a single literary giant of the past, other than Shakespeare, whom one was permitted to meet, then Coleridge would be the choice.” —Francis King, Evening Standard (London)

“The best literary biography since Ellmann’s Oscar Wilde.” —John Mortimer, Sunday Times (London)

“Dazzling…. Here is Coleridge, attractive and repellant, with all his seductive contradictions: the young man with his mountainous aspirations, his dreaminess…yammering poetry, pounding the turnpikes, dominating drawing-rooms; the foaming genius, messy with metaphysical secretions and uncontrollable speculations. Holmes has not merely reinterpreted Coleridge, he has re-created him, and his biography has the aura of fiction, the shimmer of an authentic portrait. [This is] a biography like few I have ever read.” —James Wood, The Guardian

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