By Richard Holmes
Richard Holmes's Coleridge: Early Visions gained the 1989 Whitbread booklet of the 12 months Prize. Coleridge: Darker Reflections, the long-awaited moment quantity, chronicles the final thirty years of his profession (1804-1834), a interval of family turmoil. His marriage foundered, his opium habit elevated, he quarreled bitterly with Wordsworth, and his son, Hartley (a proficient poet himself), turned an alcoholic. yet after a determined time of transition, Coleridge reemerged as a brand new form of philosophical and meditative writer, a good and bold poet, and a lecturer of genius.
Holmes strains the improvement of Coleridge right into a legend one of the more youthful new release of Romantic writers--the "hooded eagle among blinking owls"--and the impact he had on Hazlitt, De Quincey, Byron, Shelley, Keats, Walter Scott, Carlyle, and J. S. Mill, between others. And he rediscovers Coleridge's energy as a conversationalist and a ceaseless generator of principles. As Charles Lamb famous, "his face whilst he repeats his verses hath its historical glory, an Archangel a bit damaged."
Although Coleridge's later lifestyles used to be no longer a contented one, it really is continuously interesting. As Holmes brings it vividly to lifestyles in those pages, we suppose his hopeless heartaches, his moments of elation, his electrifying creativity and boundless strength, his unfailing skill to rescue himself from the darkest abyss. the result's a brilliantly lively, beautifully special, wondrously provocative portrait of a unprecedented artist and a good extra impressive man or woman.