Coleridge, Samuel Taylor

Coleridge, Samuel Taylor, poet, philosopher, and critic, born in Devonshire; passionately devoted to classical and metaphysical studies; educated at Christ's Hospital; had Charles Lamb for schoolmate; at Cambridge devoted himself to classics; falling into debt enlisted as a soldier, and was, after four months, bought off by his friends; gave himself up to a literary life; married, and took up house near Wordsworth, in Somersetshire, where he produced the “Ancient Mariner,” “Christabel,” and “Remorse”; preached occasionally in Unitarian pulpits; visited Germany and other parts of the Continent; lectured in London in 1808; when there took to opium, broke off the habit in 1816, and went to stay with the Gillmans at Highgate as their guest, under whose roof, after four years' confinement to a sick-room, he died; among his works were “The Friend,” his “Biographia Literaria,” “Aids to Reflection,” &c., published in his lifetime, and “Confessions of an Inquiring Spirit,” “Literary Remains,” and “Table Talk” after his death; he was a man of subtle and large intellect, and exercised a great influence on the thinkers of his time, though in no case was the influence a decisive one, as it had the most opposite effects on different minds; his philosophy was hazy, and his life was without aim, “once more the tragic story of a high endowment with an insufficient will” (1772-1834). See Carlyle's estimate of him in the “Life of Sterling.”

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

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