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Coleridge: Early Visions


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Winner of the 1989 Whitbread Prize for Book of the Year, this is the first volume of Holmes's seminal two-part examination of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, one of Britain's greatest poets. / Perennial reissue as part of a major reinvention of Holmes's classic backlist. This is simply one of the best loved biographies of all time. / Holmes's first book, Shelley: The Pursuit, won the Somerset Maugham Prize; this book won the Whitbread Book of the Year Prize; and Dr Johnson & Mr Savage won the James Tait Black Prize.

About the Author

Richard Holmes is one of Britain's leading biographers. Footsteps, which he published in 1985, was hailed as a 'modern masterpiece'. He is a regular feature writer and reviewer and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He was awarded an OBE in 1992. He lives in London and Norwich with the novelist Rose Tremain.


A winner of the Whitbread Prize for biography, this first of what will be a two-volume biography of Coleridge is superb. Holmes ( Footsteps, LJ 9/15/85; Shelly, LJ 5/15/75) has indeed ``taken Coleridge into the open air.'' By brushing aside the givens of critical opinion without dismissing them and making extensive use of the letters and notebooks, a fresher Coleridge emerges. It is still the Coleridge with drug and financial problems, a tendency toward plagiarism and murky thought, the dreaming schemer, but he somehow comes out of this account more a fascinating character than a literary relic. The British rave-ish reviews are well deserved, as this work promises to become a standard. The one thing Holmes tends to gloss over is Coleridge's philosophical background, but this background is well covered elswhere, and Holmes hints that he may do more in Volume 2. Definitely buy this title over Stephen Weissman's His Brother's Keeper: A Psychobiography of Samuel Taylor Coleridge ( LJ 1/90).-- Robert E. Brown, Onondaga Cty. P.L., Syracuse, N.Y.

'Dazzling! 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! a biography like few I have ever read' James Wood, Guardian 'A deeply moving life of a troubled genius. From a great mountain of research, Holmes has fashioned a compelling narrative which inspires considerable affection and respect for Coleridge. This stimulating book is one of the most enjoyable biographies I have read' Michael Shelden, Daily Telegraph 'Coleridge lives, and talks and loves! in these pages as never before' Michael Foot, Independent

This 1989 winner of England's Whitbread Prize, the first of two volumes, discusses with admiration the Romantic man of letters's impulsive personality, his exotic poetry and critical essays,pk and his relationships with and influences on prominent writers of the period. PW called this ``a work of narrative skill, outstanding scholarship and original interpretation.'' Illustrated. (May)

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