© 2007

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

A Literary Life

  • Authors

Part of the Literary Lives book series (LL)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
  2. William Christie
    Pages 1-13
  3. William Christie
    Pages 139-164
  4. William Christie
    Pages 212-214
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 215-250

About this book


The most sustained criticism and ambitious theory that had ever been attempted in English, the Biographia was Coleridge's major statement to a literary culture in which he sought to define and defend all imaginative life. This book offers a reading of Coleridge in the context of that culture and the institutions that comprised it.


Coleridge poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge

About the authors

WILLIAM CHRISTIE is Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of Sydney, Australia. He has taught and published extensively on Romanticism, and has published a wide range of articles on Coleridge and Wordsworth for journals such as Nineteenth-Century Contexts, Sydney Studies in English, Prose Studies and the British Journal of Aesthetics.

Bibliographic information


Winner of the NSW Premier's Literary Awards Biennial Prize for Literary Scholarship.

'It is remarkable that there is anything new to say about the canonical figure of Coleridge. But in this 'literary life' William Christie says it...a brilliant, even dazzling contribution to international literary criticism.' - Judges' report, NSW Premier's Literary Awards

'This literary life will prove to be one of the most thoughtful, generous and entertaining books ever written on Coleridge.' - Professor Deirdre Coleman, author of Romantic Colonization and British Anti-Slavery

'Christie is an exemplary companion, both for Coleridge and his readers, maintaining throughout a cheerful indulgence, tracing the suicidally depressive depths with gentle reminders that Coleridge somehow needed to face the very worst before he could revive self-belief, and reserving a skeptical distance even in the eddies of manically sustained activity he keeps us reading to the end, to see where the "wonderful" Coleridge had come from, and where he was to go.' Robert White, Australian Book Review, 2007

'The brevity and relative simplicity of this biography marks...a triumphant distillation of Christie's thought and research. His life of Coleridge merges a broad knowledge of the period and a close acquaintance with the personal documents of its main characters to explain Coleridge the individual: delineating his unique mental formation and foregrounding the diverse external forces that contributed to the 'self-fashioning' of his literary persona...This biography is the labour of empathy and love, a monument of dedication and commitment.' - Vrasidas Karalis, The Australian, 2009