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Author Holmes's Book Reviews

Coleridge: Darker Reflections
This is the second and final volume of Richard Holmes' very detailed biography of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The book covers the latter half of Coleridge's life, dealing with his escalating opium addiction, and its physical and mental consequences, his unhappy marriage to Sarah Fricker, and his deteriorating relationship with Wordsworth. Richard Holmes paints a sympathetic picture of a lovable, very bright man who is unable to function at a consistent le...
Coleridge: Early Visions
Samuel Taylor Coleridge was an English poet, journalist, philosopher, plagiarist and opium addict. He is probably most famous as the author of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. He was born into a middle class family in southern England. His exceptional intelligence and poetic sensibility came to the fore in his teens, but he did not achieve real fame until the publication of some of his work jointly with William Wordsworth. Coleridge, Wordsworth and th...
Richard Holmes is a superb biographer. In this volume entitled "Sidetracks," he collects the biographical stories that have captured his fancy in the course of researching his books on the romantic poets. The centerpiece of the collection concerns Mary Woolstonecraft, the great feminist crusader and philosopher, and her relationship with William Godwin. Their story and travails are inspiring and poignant. Best of all it is told in an absolutely riveting ...