"A fine addition to the biographical attempt to catch the complex and elusive figure of Coleridge. The volume is notable for its aliveness, its signal success in giving us a living breathing human being." Professor Thomas McFarland, Princeton University
"This book provides the student or general reader with an excellent critical introduction to Coleridge's life and work. Ashton has a gift for elucidating difficult concepts in clear and straightforward language. I can think of no better single volume Coleridge biography." Duncan Wu, University of Glasgow
"This is a stimulating study of a man of many obvious talents." Alan Bold, The Herald
"Ashton writes lucidly, and the book will be accessible to the layman and student as well as useful to the card-carrying Coleridge scholar; it is good, at last, to have a biography one can recommend so highly." Seamus Perry, Times Literary Supplement
"Rosemary Ashton sets store by telling the sheer story. As vitally documented narrative, altogether free from melodrama. The Life of Samuel Taylor Coleridge is a deft feat." Christopher Dicks, London Quarterly
"Here is a new biography of Coleridge that is likely to become the standard life of the poet. Rosmary Ashton's The Life of Sammuel Taylor Coleridge: A critical Biography offers a comprehensive and judicious survey of the poet's life and writings. John Strachen University of Sunderland
" Professor Ashton identifies the tangle of abilities and pursuits that ranged from poetry to criticism philosophy to politics, opium-induced imagination to sparkling conversation."
From the Back Cover
Rosemary Ashton’s acclaimed biography presents Samuel Taylor Coleridge – poet, critic, thinker, plagiarist, cultural omnivore, enchanting companion, feckless husband, fabled conversationalist, guilt-ridden opium addict – in all his complexity. Ashton shows how Coleridge’s writings in verse and prose are especially directly expressive of his opinions and emotions and traces his development through friendship and marriage.
An authority on nineteenth-century Anglo-German cultural relations, she maps and measures the profound influence of German philosophy upon Coleridge’s thinking and theorizing in illuminating detail, thus placing Coleridge’s reputation within the context of both British and German Romanticism.